Busy Bees acquires two Midlothian nurseries

Thursday June 1st 2023

BUSY BEES Hopefield Castle 2

The Hopefield Castle Nursery at Bonnyrigg.


Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

A leading UK early years provider, Busy Bees, has acquired two family-owned nurseries in Midlothian.

The acquisition of Newbyres Nursery at Gorebridge and Hopefield Castle Nursery at Bonnyrigg brings Busy Bees to 22 nurseries in Scotland.

Established in 2016, Newbyres Nursery operates from two neighbouring buildings, with under-3s at Newbyres Hall and 3 to 5-year-olds across the road at St Pauls Church. The nursery is recognised for delivering very good care and education for 154 children.

Hopefield Castle Nursery is housed within a striking 17th century castle set in 1.5 acres of grounds, offering an adventurous, creative and caring environment for up to 66 2 to 5-year-olds. The building was acquired in 2019 and includes a valuable forest kindergarten area which is enjoyed by children from both nurseries.

Nursery owner, Mel Scrimgeour, said: “I established Newbyres Nursery because I could see that the existing provision in the area could be improved upon, with our team dedicated to delivering a high quality of experience for the children. That was the key focus as the business expanded to Hopefield Castle, which is a truly magical place for children to play and learn.

“Running the nurseries has been a real passion project for me and my husband, but now is the right time for us to step aside and focus on our own family.

“The decision to hand over the reigns has been a difficult one and Busy Bees was the only group I felt shared my vision for our children and would ensure our families would continue to enjoy the same quality of experience.”

The nurseries established a pioneering intergenerational project, with children engaging with residents in local care homes. The project won a Generations Working Together award in 2017.

The acquisition was handled by healthcare and childcare broker ‎Redwoods Dowling Kerr.

The Busy Bees group cares for more than 32,000 children across 392 nurseries in the UK and Ireland, and around 75,000 children globally across eight countries.

Yvonne Smillie, Managing Director of Busy Bees Scotland, said: “We are thrilled to bring Hopefield Castle and Newbyres into the Busy Bees family. Mel and her team have created two very special nurseries that we are proud to welcome into Busy Bees. We are committed to continuing the vision and values that are so important to the families they serve.

“Their approach to children’s learning and giving children time and space to develop as individuals aligns with our mission at Busy Bees. We are looking forward to working with the team to ensure children continue to receive the best start in life.” We wish Mel, David and their families every success in the new chapter which lies ahead for them and we thank them for trusting us to continue the high standards they have set.

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