A partnership between two Coventry and Warwickshire companies has helped establish a national chain of children’s nurseries in double quick time.

Banana Moon Day Nurseries, based in Leamington, will open in its 13th location in the next month after property firm Bromwich Hardy sourced a suitable base for the company in West London.Banana Moon was established when Mark Bates, who ran a local family-based engineering firm, could not find suitable nursery provision for his daughter.

After researching the problem, he decided to set up his own nursery, added another and then offered a franchise opportunity for people in a similar position.Now, Banana Moon Day Nurseries employ more than 300 staff and are soon to open in Scotland and the north of England. The family engineering firm has been sold.

“To be honest, I had no idea of the shortage nursery places until I looked into it myself and realised there was a gap in the market,” he said.“

After we opened the second nursery, we looked further afield but realised that we could probably not manage outside the region and ensure the same levels of quality which had tempted us into the industry in the first place.

“The natural solution was to build a franchise model and that is what we have done. There is still massive demand and we expect there to be 40 Banana Moon nurseries operating in the next couple of years – we had originally through we would add two every 12 months!“

There are various levels of buy-in. Sometimes the franchisees have their own premises, but if they want us to source them, we employ Bromwich Hardy. “The company knows our model and what is needed property-wise to run a successful nursery and that is a great advantage to us and to the operators. “Tom Bromwich sourced and secured the premises for the new Chiswick nursery and that is due to open in the next month or so.

“Bromwich Hardy, based at the Cobalt Centre at Middlemarch: “We were involved with the creation of the very first Banana Moon Day Nursery so it has been really gratifying to see the growth of the business.
“It really is the classic case of someone spotting a gap in the market and providing a solution.“We are based in Coventry but we work for various corporate clients right across the UK, and certainly with Banana Moon our national network of contacts have proved extremely valuable.”