Former pub set to go from pints to play after £1.2m purchase and refurbishment by day nursery group

Friday 7th November 2014

A disused north Leeds pub is set to contain tots of a different kind after being bought by the Kinder Haven day nursery group.

The former Ringway Hotel, in Wood Lane, Horsforth, will become the Bradford-based organisation’s sixth nursery, following its purchase from Unique Pub Properties, part of the Enterprise Group. Before opening, the site will undergo a complete refurbishment, projected to last seven months, with total investment of £1.2m anticipated.

This is the third transaction on which Kinder Haven founders Danielle and Darren Dixon have employed Yorkshire law firm Gordons. Simon Mydlowski, a partner in the commercial property team, advised the buyers on matters such as the acquisition, negotiation of contract, and application for planning consent.

Mrs Dixon said: “It’s exciting to be opening another nursery in such a premier historic location. We have been working with Gordons and our team to make this happen. We can’t wait to open another excellent nursery environment that meets the needs of local people, creating quality childcare and new employment opportunities.

“We exchanged contracts back in May. Simon at Gordons has been extremely efficient, getting everything done quickly, and has certainly impressed us with his speed, professionalism, understanding of our business and what is in our best interests. He also provided advice which proved invaluable, liaising extremely effectively with our accountants and bank over the structure of a seamless deal.

“All-in-all, he did a first-class job for us. We will definitely use Simon again and certainly recommend him to other businesses.”

Mr and Mrs Dixon founded Kinder Haven in 2001, buying a former pub in Bradford’s Sticker Lane with a bank loan, after compiling a successful business plan and selling their home and car. The couple, who then had two small children and now have three, lived in one room on the first floor for 12 months while working full-time elsewhere during the days and converting the ground floor into their first nursery in the evenings.

Since then, Kinder Haven has opened additional sites in Bradford’s Wakefield Road, Westgate Hill and Halifax Road, plus Waterloo Road, Pudsey. The business now employs 120 staff and looks after 645 children from over 500 families.

Mrs Dixon and the business have each won multiple awards, including Kinder Haven being named the UK’s best day nursery operation in 2008.

Mr Mydlowski said: “It was a pleasure to assist Kinder Haven with its latest expansion. Danielle and Darren have shown great tenacity and determination to become leading business people in their chosen field and we have no doubt they will make a significant success of their venture at the former Ringway site.”

Funding support for the project came from HSBC’s West Yorkshire commercial team, in a deal managed by bank commercial manager Lucy Rushworth.

She said: “We’re delighted to provide the funding to allow Kinder Haven to move forward into the next stage of their growth plans. Having worked with Danielle and Darren over the last three years, I continue to be impressed with their dedication and commitment to providing exceptional standards of childcare.”