Scotland’s oldest boarding school secures £3 million funding boost for growth plans

One of Scotland’s top private schools has secured a £3 million funding facility to accelerate its long-term growth plans.

Loretto, which was founded in 1827 and is set in an 85-acre campus in Musselburgh, just outside Edinburgh, has agreed the credit facility with Barclays.

The funding package will support the independent school’s growth ambitions, while also providing further access to working capital. Loretto has also transferred all of its day-to-day banking to Barclays.

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Loretto is one of Britain’s top co-educational boarding and day schools, attracting pupils from both home and abroad. For students aged between three and 18 years, the 600-pupil school has leading creative arts and sports facilities, including the renowned Loretto Golf Academy.

Headmaster Graham Hawley said: “The funding package from Barclays will fuel our long-term strategic growth plans, and drive forward our commitment to our pupils of continuous development in all aspects of school life.

“The decision to bring in Barclays as our banking partner was largely due to Barclays’ shared enthusiasm to work with us to support the future development of the school but also their industry knowledge of the sector alongside their relationship service model, competitive terms and consistent delivery.”

The substantial credit facility will support the school in maintaining its existing infrastructure, while providing additional liquidity to continue to invest in “state-of-the-art educational tools and facilities”.

The bank said it was also able to specifically cater for international parents of Loretto students by offering a “receivables foreign exchange solution” meaning school fees can be paid by parents at no extra cost to the school.

Loretto was founded in 1827 and is set in an 85-acre campus in Musselburgh, just outside Edinburgh.

Malcolm Crawford, corporate development director for Barclays in Scotland, said: “Working with Loretto to deliver a funding solution to enable the school to manage its working capital needs, and provide stability, was an excellent opportunity for the team to support the school’s ambitious growth plans.

“Scotland has a world-leading independent education sector, and our team of dedicated industry experts understand and have insight into the unique demands of operating a business of this sort. This funding package is evidence of our support for, and confidence in, this growing sector,” he added.

The bank said it had worked alongside Loretto - Scotland’s oldest boarding school - and its bursars to develop a bespoke digital banking service that specifically fits the needs of the establishment’s growth ambitions.

Barclays has been stepping up its business banking presence in Scotland in recent years.

Last year, the group opened the doors to its new state-of-the-art campus in Glasgow, hailing the move as a significant milestone.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon formally opened the 500,000-square-foot site in Tradeston, stressing that it was one of Scotland’s biggest-ever inward investments.

There are set to be 5,000 employees by 2023 on the campus, which will be home to the latest Barclays Eagle Lab hosting members of the Glasgow technology start-up community. Barclays had in 2018 announced that it would be creating a campus at the city’s Buchanan Wharf - saying it was a “flagship project” for the bank. The campus comprises five buildings.

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