Bridges named Investor of the Year at the EducationInvestor Awards 2016

Bridges was delighted to be named ‘Investor of the Year’ at the 2016 EducationInvestor Awards.

The award recognises Bridges’ track record of working with outstanding management teams to build high-growth, high-impact businesses in the education sector.

This year’s highlight was our successful exit from Babington Group, a Derby-based apprenticeships provider, which was sold to RJD Partners for £22m. Bridges first invested in Babington in 2008, in the belief that its high-quality apprenticeships and traineeships had an important role to play in addressing the UK’s growing skills crisis. In the subsequent years, we worked closely with management to expand their existing provision, develop their online platform and make two significant acquisitions. During our ownership, Babington’s revenues rose eight-fold, while EBITDA jumped to £3m.

This commercial success also allowed the Babington team to deliver more impact at scale: between 2008 and 2015, Babington successfully supported over 32,000 learners and helped over 3,700 formerly unemployed people to find jobs, whilst maintaining high levels of student and employer satisfaction.

The EducationInvestor award also recognised Bridges’ success in supporting and scaling a number of other education models within the social sector; notably LEYF, a social enterprise that provides high-quality early years education to children in underserved markets across London. We have also invested in Career Connect and Teens & Toddlers, two UK charities that are delivering early intervention programmes – via Government outcomes contracts – to reduce the number of young people becoming NEET (‘not in education, employment or training’).

In July, Bridges was also named ‘Investor of the Year’ at the 2016 HealthInvestor Awards, in recognition of our success in building high-growth, high-impact businesses in the healthcare sector. You can read more about that here.

Read more about the EducationInvestor awards here.