A Scottish real estate developer and investment company has underlined its ambition to become the UK’s largest care home provider with the acquisition of six nursing homes in the north of England.

Glasgow-based Simply UK – which already operates six upmarket facilities in Scotland under the Morar Living brand – has doubled its footprint with the purchase of Horizon Care Group for an undisclosed sum. The business, which is to be re-branded as Portland Care Group, has 498 beds under its care in Sheffield, Pontefract and Worksop, plus two further development sites.

The deal has been supported by Guernsey-based investment company Gazcob and French real estate investors Pierval Sante.

Simply UK said it aims to have 60 care homes and 4,000 beds under its ownership by 2026. Morar Living currently has plans for two further homes in Scotland, plus five in England and one in Ireland.

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“The launch of Portland Care Group and the acquisition of these six homes marks the start of an exciting new phase in our growth strategy and underlines our ambition to become the largest quality care provider in the UK,” said Neil Dobbie, land director of Simply UK.

“Simply UK’s business plan will add between 800 and 1,000 beds every year to our portfolio and with excellent relationships with funders and confidence in the brand, we are confident this is not overly ambitious. We will grow the Portland Care Group and Morar Living brands in tandem, with a combination of strategic acquisitions of existing care providers and developing new-build sites in areas where there is clear demand for the highest quality of care.”

Rob McDonald, managing director of Portland Care, added: “We are delighted to have retained the 500-plus skilled and committed staff, including the senior management teams in each home, ensuring there will be no discernible change in the relationships with residents or the standards of service provided.

“As Portland Care Group continues to grow we will be looking to fill a variety of positions and to offer the high-level training and mentoring required for people interested in taking up rewarding careers in the care sector.”