Case Study

Caterham School

Project Highlights

  • £25m loan with fixed terms over 25 years
  • Innovative hedging agreements that cap interest rate for full 25 years
  • School benefits from interest rates below the (already low) cap
  • Many unique aspects of a private school navigated by UKSF
  • Very competitive package of security and financial covenants agreed

UKSF has assisted Caterham School in Surrey with the acquisition of its freehold estate from the United Learning Group. The School now owns its land outright and can make plans for the betterment of its estate, including the possibility of a brand new boarding house and various other campus improvements in the plans being drawn up currently to go before the Governors later this year.

The Harestone Valley, set in the Surrey Hills, provides a stunning location for the School’s extensive campus. The School benefits from 200 acres including sports fields, woodland, high ropes course and outdoor learning centre. Facilities matter because they enable the best teaching and learning to take place. Caterham benefits from inspiring Victorian architecture complimented with purpose built facilities including science complex, Sports Centre with indoor pool, fitness centre and double space sports hall, a new Centre for Performing Arts encompassing two theatres and a dance studio, the Maggs Library and a dedicated Digital Innovation Centre.

UKSF worked with a large number of potential funders before HSBC was selected as preferred partner. The School was able to raise a substantial £25m facility on innovative terms that allowed the facility costs to be capped at a very low cost for an impressive twenty five years and yet still allow the School to take advantage of lower rates should they prevail from time-to-time. The finance package was interesting to deliver, throwing up unique conundrums (for example how to value a substantial top rated private school in a protected location without any comparables!)

In the end, the parties were all delighted with the result. The Caterham Bursar, Angela Higgs, was clear: “from finding the best providers of finance to steering us through the process, it would have been a nightmare without UKSF!”