How Playforce are using finance to help children stay fit and healthy

This week we speak to Emily Northin, director of marketing at Playforce, a leader in playground solutions to the education, local council and leisure sectors. Celebrating their 20th year this year, Playforce have now completed around 9,000 installations for schools across the UK.

Tell us about Playforce

Established in 1998, we were the first business in the play sector to really focus on specialising in outdoor spaces for education. As the business and our expertise grew, we developed our own equipment, and almost 2000 of the products in our portfolio have been created in-house alongside our customers.

After an extended period of growth, we were acquired by TCL Group in late 2014, allowing us to add wider landscaping, groundworks and estate management services to our offering.  We believe this makes us unique and gives schools a simple, full scale solution.  Our customers trust us, with half of all new business generated from existing customers and our research shows we’re the most referred business in the education sector.

How does White Oak UK’s Operating Lease help?

Some schools have capital budgets; however, these are often tight, leading many schools to explore fundraising to generate the money they need where budgets aren’t sufficient.

We find that offering schools the ability to use an operating lease helps them to protect their budgets or perhaps set smaller fundraising goals to meet the monthly repayments, whilst giving their pupils the benefits of a larger project straight away.

An operating lease is particularly key for larger projects or projects that simply couldn’t have happened without the ability to spread the cost.

Where do you see the business in the next three years?

Over the next few years we’re aiming for further sustainable growth, bringing in more of our group services to schools, adding real value and further growing our range of partnerships and key accounts.

Our focus on leading the market remains key. As concerns over childhood obesity grow, we are developing enhanced sport facilities and compatible services for schools alongside more products designed to help keep children fit and healthy.

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