A VOTE of confidence in East Lancashire's care industry has been forthcoming from two different quarters this week.

Bosses at the National Care Group (NCG) in Accrington are reported to have secured extra financing from the Allied Irish Bank.

And Springhill Care Centre, also based in the town, can look forward to new owners after being acquired as part of a joint deal by the AEW UK Real Return Fund, in partnership with Prime Life.

The NCG deal, for an undisclosed sum, will fund the Globe Centre based operation's continued growth strategy, which could result in their own future acquisitions.

David Rowe-Berwick, group finance director, said: "B)’s continued support are well placed to target future acquisitions and growth.

David Rowe-Bewick, Group Finance Director at NCG said: "The refinance package provided by Simon King and the team at Allied Irish Bank (GB) provides a strong platform from which we can confidently drive growth in new and existing locations.

"The team really understand our business, and their facilities and pragmatic approach fits very well with NCG.

"As we move forward into 2019, we have a target to achieve 200 additional beds and the refinance facility will help support our growth aspirations."

The firm already looks after 1,200 vulnerable adults at 230 locations across the UK.

Springhill Care Centre, which is registered for 116 residents, generates annual rents of more than £653,000. They have been acquired alongsied Birch Green Care Home in Skelmersdale.

Ian Mason, portfolio manager at AEW, added: "The care home sector is driven by strong social and demographic needs and the UK is set for huge growth in its elderly population over the next few decades.

"As a result, it has strong market fundamentals and should remain resilient to any Brexit risks or uncertainties and AEW has taken the strategic decision to increase the fund’s weighting in this sector."

The fund is currently offering returns of between four and five per cent for investors.