GMLF invests £0.44m in School Lettings Solutions to support expansion
The Greater Manchester Loan Fund (GMLF) has invested £440,000 in School Lettings Solutions (SLS), an outsourced lettings management service that hires out school and college facilities to local community clubs and organisations. The funding package will support SLS’s continued expansion into new schools across the UK, enable the business to meet the demand of its sales pipeline and develop a proprietary facilities booking system.
Founded in 2012 by directors Scott Warrington and Paul Andrews, SLS manages the process that enables schools and colleges to generate income from hiring out facilities such as sports halls, playing fields and swimming pools to communities, providing access to education and leisure facilities. SLS has a proven track record in professional facilities management systems, income generation and developing community lettings and currently manages lettings on behalf of over 125 individual schools and facility owners.
SLS has forged longstanding professional relationships with its clients and has experienced strong year on year growth since inception. The company has a strong new business pipeline and is in discussions with over 100 additional schools to bring them on board.
The potential market comprising 4,000 secondary and 20,000 primary schools is large and highly fragmented. 70% of UK secondary schools and 20% primary schools are considered to have suitable facilities to let out, giving a potential market of 6,800 venues, in addition to colleges and higher education institutions. The increasing prevalence of academies in the UK has seen a more commercial focus adopted supporting the SLS proposition. SLS estimates less than 25% of schools are currently active in letting out their facilities to local communities which provides for a considerable amount of potential growth.
Alex Rothwell, Investment Manager at Maven, said: “We are thrilled the GMLF loan for SLS will not only safeguard local jobs but will create additional roles over the next two years. SLS is led by experienced, talented and driven individuals who we are confident will take the business forward and broaden its footprint nationwide benefitting the local communities in which it operates. It is an attractive investment proposition and the development of the bespoke software will enable the firm to continue to grow and reinforce its position as a market leader.”
Scott Warrington, Director at SLS, added: “The time and effort required for schools to manage the letting of their facilities to community and sports groups is often something they do not possess which means they are potentially missing out on valuable additional income streams and community groups are unable to benefit from their facilities. We are delighted for the support from the GMLF – the loan will enable us to secure and create additional jobs at the firm, fulfil our strong sales pipeline and make an important investment in the development of our proprietary software for the benefit of all our customers and users.”