Lowestoft-based healthcare firm unveils £200m growth vision
- Credit: James Bass
East Anglian care provider Kingsley Healthcare has embarked on a £200m-plus expansion strategy to become a familiar national brand within five years.
The dementia care specialist, which started 15 years ago with one home in Oulton Broad, near Lowestoft, has grown rapidly to the point where it today runs 23 homes - 17 in East Anglia - and employs 1,200 staff.
However, chief executive officer Daya Thayan, 53, said that expansion was now set to dramatically accelerate as the company launched into a new-build programme 'delivering four or five new homes a year over the next six or seven year period'.
Announcing the plans on the day the company completed on a separate deal to buy four existing care homes as far afield as Dorset and Cheshire, with a fifth soon to be added in an investment totalling £19m, Mr Thayan predicted that his number of staff would increase to 3,500 within four to five years.
Within the same timescale, their number of care beds would increase from 850 to 2,500 and the company's turnover was projected to rise from £30m to more than £85m.
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He said: 'When considering our strategy, we asked ourselves how we could take our person-centred care into new areas where we are not currently represented.
'As a company we had reached the size and scale where buying smaller homes to extend was no longer the best way forward.
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'So to fund a £200m-plus new-build programme, we have partnered with a city institution on a joint venture, with Kingsley Healthcare being the major shareholder.'
He said the deal was 'tremendous news' as it would bring a positive change to their property portfolio.
'What we will be building will be fit-for-purpose, modern facilities offering the best product in the market place,' he said.
'It will mean an opportunity for our existing team to develop and progress in their careers and we will be able to attract the best in the industry to come and help us deliver care in the Kingsley way.'
A new Kingsley Healthcare home is currently being built in the Altrincham area of Manchester and work will start later this year on a further two, the first to be funded by the new investment package, also in the north-west.
Mr Thayan said that as part of their commitment to delivering 'very person centred dementia nursing care', they were also establishing a new training academy in the north-west, adjoining one of the homes.
He said: 'The intention is to put all our staff through the academy and offer places to new staff that want to start a career in the industry.
'The care industry is as big as any other vibrant industry, like the oil industry, but a constraint until now has been a lack of training facilities and opportunities for youngsters.'
He said the academy would be offering 'formal structured courses' covering all aspects of care delivery, administration and health and safety as well all the latest developments in the industry.
Mr Thayan emphasised the fact that the industry now offered good career prospects and he was recruiting for managerial roles that offered 'fantastic packages comparable to other professions'.
Although their vision was to become a genuine national player, Kingley Healthcare's roots would remain in East Anglia, he stressed.
The company would shortly be completing on a deal to move its headquarters later this year from School Road, Lowestoft to much bigger premises in the town incorporating training facilities; and the multi-million-pound investment would see their number of headquarters staff increase from 40 to 80 over the next three years.
For the future, he said his ambition was to see Kingsley Healthcare become a serious national provider.
However, in reaching that goal he said: 'Every home must be fit enough to care for my own parents. Otherwise, we have failed.'