ABOVE: Hazel Tree Montessori Nursery

A businesswoman has acquired her third pre-school nursery in Greater Manchester following a refinance package from Unity Trust Bank.

Danielle Hignett has added Hazel Wood Nursery in Stockport to her portfolio, alongside Holly Tree Montessori Nursery in Edgeley, Stockport, and Pear Tree Montessori Nursery in Sale.

The Cheshire mother-of-two has invested in and developed her businesses since setting up in 2015 and now provides 200 childcare places.

She has increased her staffing levels to 75 and plans to create another seven jobs once Hazel Wood, which she has renamed Hazel Tree Montessori Nursery, is renovated.

Ian Heesom, Relationship Manager at Unity Trust Bank, said: “We actively support business owners like Danielle who provide valuable educational facilities in local communities.

“Danielle has a proven track record of taking her businesses to another level and creating new employment opportunities. We’re delighted to be able to support her latest acquisition.”

Danielle, who has a degree in chemistry and management and previously spent 12 years in senior global roles in the pharmaceutical industry, said: “I’m delighted to refinance with Unity. They are a very good fit for my portfolio from a social marketing side.

“Other banks were interested, but the whole bureaucracy of asking for something and it taking six months to sort out put me off. I like the old-fashioned way of being able to speak to someone and it getting done immediately.

“Businesses like mine need relationship managers because we have so many complexities to talk about. Unity offered the best deal on the market but they also took a real interest in my nurseries and what we do with the children.”

The nurseries’ smooth transition to Unity Trust Bank was facilitated by Scott Murcott of Montane Finance, Luke Hopkins at Freeths LLP and Helen Mather, Corporate Partner at Manchester commercial law firm Kuits.

Helen said: “Having advised Danielle since she acquired her first nursery we are delighted to have continued to advise her in relation to this next chapter of growth which will see the outstanding Montessori approach and facilities become available to even more children.”

Danielle is also in the process of setting up the Manchester Montessori Academy which offers training on the Montessori methods of teaching which include self-directed activity, hands-on learning and collaborative play.



Notes to Editors

About Unity Trust Bank


Unity is a specialist business bank with a difference. With offices in Birmingham, Manchester and London, it offers an ethical alternative for businesses with a social conscience.

For more than 37 years the bank has worked with organisations and SMEs that share its values and philosophy, offering a full range of banking services including current accounts, savings accounts and loans.

Independent since December 2015, its purpose is to help create a better society, not just maximise profit. Unity’s focus on its customers, employees, and the communities it serves is what sets it apart and allows it to deliver on the bank’s ‘Double Bottom Line’ strategy through volunteering, education and fundraising.

Unity is a Real Living Wage employer, a Fair Tax Mark business, a Women In Finance Charter signatory, member of the Banking Standards Board and currently holds the Investors in People Gold standard.