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20 May 2015

The Essential English Centre set for major expansion following support from The North West Fund for Micro Loans

Press Release 20th May 2015

The Essential English Centre  in Manchester city centre http://www.essentialenglishcentre.com has created ten jobs, increased student numbers by
60% and is now set to continue to expand into new international markets, thanks to a £25k loan from the £3m North West Fund for Micro Loans and support from Business Finance Solutions (BFS).

The North West Fund for Micro Loans www.thenorthwestfund.co.uk, which is managed by BFS and the Merseyside Special Investment Fund (MSIF), has been closely tailored to the investment needs of the region's businesses.  The £3 million Fund provides loans of £25,000 to £50,000 to businesses at all stages, whether they are just starting up or looking to expand.

The British Council-accredited independent school delivers a range of English language courses to students of their commercial customers which include foreign consulates, governments and agencies from around the world, arranging packages for foreign students to the UK.

It is owned and run by Jo Wilde from Prestwich, Manchester and Bairbre Walsh from County Meath in Ireland. Both have a broad scope of sector-specific expertise, having worked in the public and private education and training sector for many years. Since opening the school in 2012, Jo and Bairbre have created ten posts, including a Doctor of Education who advises on all aspects of academia, with plans to create an additional six jobs over the coming year.

The EEC are using the funding to invest in a globally-optimised and responsive website, and to continue to develop its  network of commercial partners to secure more contracts and attract their clients to Manchester as a place to learn and visit.

To coincide with this, the school has significantly expanded its suite of programmes, to include an Academic Year Programme, 50+ Language Holidays, and tailor-made junior courses throughout the year.

Jo said: "Both Bairbre and I are passionate about education and its benefits, and we have worked very hard to build a solid reputation since opening our doors in 2012.  As an independent school, our vision is to become a centre of excellence in all senses, while continuing to grow and build a successful business."   Having achieved British Council accreditation, and now with The North West Fund's support, they are looking forward to implementing their growth strategy.  What's more, with Manchester thriving economically, Jo and Bairbre believe there has never been a better time for international clients to pre-book their students to come to learn in Manchester.

Paul Breen, Director of Finance at BFS said: "The Essential English Centre has already established a strong reputation for excellence and is a great example of the type of business that The Fund was designed to support. 

"We will continue to work with Jo and Bairbre with their strategy for growth and to support The EEC as it evolves and expands."

Businesses interested in applying to The North West Fund for Micro Loans can complete an online application form at www.thenorthwestfund.co.uk or contact the team on 0161 245 4952 or at thenorthwestfund@b-f-s.org.uk

The North West Fund for Micro Loans is part of The North West Fund, a substantial fund supported by the European Investment Bank and European Regional Development Fund to supply debt and equity funding to growing small and medium-sized enterprises in the North West of England.



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