MORE than 75 representatives from the region’s leading professional services firms joined local business representatives at an event to mark the second birthday of the £20m Finance For Business North East Growth Fund.
Hosted by regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers, who administer the Growth Fund, the event was designed to celebrate the positive impact that the fund has had so far, and to encourage attendees to put new names forward to the NEL team who might become part of their growing investee portfolio.
Guests at the event, which took place at the Trinity House on Newcastle’s Quayside, included representatives of businesses from right across the North East that have received investments of up to £400,000 since the Growth Fund was launched in spring 2010.
Over £6m has so far been invested from the Growth Fund by NEL, and the last six months has seen a significant surge in both the number of enquiries being received and the number of successful applications for investment.
Aimed at regional businesses which are at a development and growth stage, the Growth Fund forms part of the wider Finance for Business North East Fund initiative.
NEL is looking to make around 130 investments over the five-year life span of the Growth Fund, and is actively looking to speak to even greater numbers of ambitious north east companies.
Simon Johnson, senior investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, says: “It’s been an extremely busy two years since the Growth Fund opened for business, and we’re pleased with the number and value of investments that we’ve made so far, but we want to make many more over the next three years.
“The investment cycle is panning out in the way we expected it would when we first took on responsibility for the Growth Fund, and the continuing high levels of interest in and demand for investment capital of this sort gives us great encouragement that it will be fully invested, as been the case with several other funds that we’ve managed over the last two decades.
“The Finance For Business North East funds are making a real difference to the type of ambitious private sector businesses that will drive our recovery from recession over the next few years, and the degree of ambition we’re seeing from investment applicants will very much drive the region’s continuing economic revival.
“The intermediary community has been especially important in identifying client companies that would be suitable Growth Fund candidates and then helping them secure investments from us, and having so many of them at the event gave us the chance to reinforce the availability of development capital to ambitious firms with robust business plans and strong management teams.”
For more information about NEL’s investment criteria, visit www.nel.co.uk or contact the investment team on 0845 111 1850.