Mark Adair

Northumberland Education group looks East for next of growth strategy

An ambitious Northumberland-headquartered education consultancy is looking to make its mark in the Far East after securing a second six-figure investment from the North East Fund.

National Learning Group offers educational support and tutoring services for learners of all ages which are delivered remotely by a fast-expanding network of around 150 classroom-experienced teachers with the backing of its growing Prudhoe head office team.

The business, which has seen its turnover grow by more than 600 per cent over the last year alone, facilitates one-to-one Maths and English tuition in the UK for young people from Reception up to GCSE level, as well as providing Adult learning, A Level, special educational needs and entrance examination services.

And it is now looking to use its to break into the flourishing Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) market for adults by first establishing a service in Taiwan before moving into the much-larger Chinese market and on into continental Europe.

National Learning Group first worked with regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers last year to bring in an investment from the North East Small Loan Fund Supported by The European Regional Development Fund, which it used to enhance its management systems, processes, infrastructure and website, as well as a recruitment drive.

And it has now gone back to NEL for an investment from the North East Growth Capital Fund Loan Fund Supported by The European Regional Development Fund to help it implement its Far East expansion plans.

Since receiving its first NEL investment, National Learning Group has doubled its head office team to 16 people, with recruitment continuing for further North East sales and administration roles.

Founder and managing director Oliver Batten says, “our core business is continuing to perform well and we’re now looking to build on our achievements so far in what is potentially a huge new market for us.”

Jane Siddle, senior investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, adds, “having access to growth capital at successive stages of their development is essential if ambitious North East firms are going to be able to fulfil their potential and we’re worked with many successful businesses on multiple occasions to enable them to do just that.”

The overarching £120m North East Fund will provide financial support for more than 600 businesses, creating around 3,500 jobs and delivering a legacy of up to £80m for further investment into the region.

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