Bridges Ventures announces first close of Healthcare Property Fund in partnership with Castleoak Group

1st August 2011

London, 1 August, 2011 – Bridges Ventures, the sustainable growth investor, and Castleoak, one of the UK’s leading healthcare developers, announced today that they have completed a £32 million first close of investment into their Healthcare Property Fund (the “Fund”). With borrowings, the Fund will have an initial investment capacity of over £50m and Bridges […]

London, 1 August, 2011 – Bridges Ventures, the sustainable growth investor, and Castleoak, one of the UK’s leading healthcare developers, announced today that they have completed a £32 million first close of investment into their Healthcare Property Fund (the “Fund”). With borrowings, the Fund will have an initial investment capacity of over £50m and Bridges Ventures seeks to increase the size of the fund over the coming months.

The Fund will have immediate access to a pipeline of predominantly off-market, pre-let care home developments supplied by Castleoak. It will initially invest in three pre-let care home developments with a value of £25m with other transactions already agreed.

Each project will be developed to provide first class care facilities with a focus on sustainable design and construction. The Fund will concentrate on care homes for the elderly with a high proportion of private pay residents where demand is driven by a shortage of high quality accommodation in locations with attractive demographic profiles. Rents will be set in close collaboration with care providers, based upon realistic trading projections and to ensure long term sustainability.

The closing represents a further successful property fund launch for Bridges Ventures, following the Bridges Sustainable Property Fund. The new Fund’s focus is closely aligned with the overall mission of Bridges Ventures to use its commercial expertise to achieve social or environmental benefit, as well as attractive returns for investors. In particular, it falls within its Health & Well-being and Environmental impact themes.

Simon Ringer, MD of Property Funds at Bridges Ventures, said:

“The growing needs of our ageing population are driving strong underlying demographics for this sector, yet supply of new, bespoke accommodation is limited. There are very few opportunities in the property sector where it is possible to participate in a proven pipeline of fully consented off market, pre-let developments typically secured on 35 year FRI leases with annually indexed rents.

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with Castleoak, whose business ethos fits well with ours. The fund will benefit from the long term relationships that Castleoak has established with many of the UK’s most experienced and successful care providers. Its pipeline of sites and 20 years of experience in delivering high quality new build care accommodation will help us to identify the best investment opportunities and, ultimately, to deliver excellent returns for investors .”

This first closing of the Fund has received the support of both institutional and private investors who are seeking to invest in an increasingly attractive property investment sector. These include, amongst others, a large Swedish pension fund, Merseyside Pension Fund, Wittington Investments, John Lyon’s Charity, Sir Harry Solomon as well as Portland Place Capital Limited Pension Scheme (Sir Ronald Cohen) and other Bridges Ventures founders and directors and Castleoak. A number of these investors have also invested in the Bridges Sustainable Property Fund.

Mel Knight, CEO of Castleoak, commented:

“This first close of the fund, and subsequent anticipated investments, will allow us to speed up the supply of high quality purpose built care homes to meet the growing demand for such accommodation. Working with Bridges Ventures, we are confident of delivering long term and sustainable returns to our investors.”


For further information please contact:

Claire Aslett

Capital MSL

0207 307 5307

07825 588626

Notes to Editors

About Bridges Ventures

Bridges Ventures is a sustainable growth investor established in 2002 with a mission to use its commercial expertise to achieve focused social or environmental benefit, as well as attractive returns for investors. Bridges Ventures has raised four funds to date which total £150m: Venture Funds I & II, the Bridges Sustainable Property Fund and the Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund.

The Bridges Venture Funds invest in growth businesses based in UK underserved areas as well as those delivering social and environmental impact in education & skills, environment and health & well-being. The Bridges Venture Funds typically invest up to £10m at a time in ambitious, entrepreneurial businesses including early stage, growth capital and buyouts / buy ins. For more information please go to

Since 2002, Bridges Venture Funds have made equity investments totalling over £75m in 34 businesses and have achieved successful exits ranging from 12% to 212% IRR.

About The Sustainable Property Fund

The Bridges Sustainable Property Fund is an entrepreneurial property fund which invests in properties in regeneration areas and environmentally sustainable buildings. It seeks to make property investments that have the potential to make strong financial returns as well as delivering social and environmental impact.

The Fund has already invested in a range of projects either directly or in joint venture in sectors including student accommodation in London, other care sector developments and has most recently agreed commitments to both a retail development in the Midlands and a regeneration scheme in East London.

It builds upon Bridges Ventures’ track record of successful property-backed investment through its private equity funds in regeneration locations and sustainable business sectors. These include The Office, Smart Storage, The Hoxton, Credential and Whelan Refining.

The fund is managed by Simon Ringer with the assistance of an investment committee comprising John Harrison, co-founder of MWB Group plc, John Duggan, formerly CEO at Gazeley Ltd, and Philip Newborough, Michele Giddens and Rory Maw of Bridges Ventures.

About Castleoak

Established in 1984, Castleoak is one of the leading names in development, design and build within the care sector. The Group has built nothing but care accommodation since 1996, delivering over 140 care homes – including specialist dementia care facilities – and over 2500 apartments in extra care schemes and care villages across the country.

Castleoak offers complete turnkey solutions, from inception to furnishing and equipping, as well as a range of development services, including freehold sale, leasehold and joint ventures.

The Group works across the not-for-profit and commercial sectors, with many of the country’s leading high quality care providers. It also has considerable experience of strategic reprovisioning, having carried out rolling programmes over several years to replace outdated former local authority care facilities. Current reprovision programmes include Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.

The Group has won numerous industry awards for its work and was named Property Developer of the Year 2011 by Health Investor magazine earlier this year. It is an Investor in People and is an accredited one star company in The Sunday Times listings of the Best Small Companies to Work For. It has strong environmental credentials and has BS8555 and Green Dragon accreditation.

The Group enjoys strong working relationships with key sector bodies, including the National Care Forum and the English Community Care Association.

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