After providing around £5m of development capital to regional businesses during 2015, the total value of investments made by fund management firm NEL Fund Managers from the Finance for Business North East Growth Fund has now passed the £25m mark.
Since the fund launched in early 2010, NEL has made 125 investments from it with an average deal value of around £204,000.
The landmark was reached with NEL’s recent six-figure investment in County Durham-based cable manufacturer ATAG Cable Solutions.
The Growth Fund is a general investment fund aimed at businesses at a development and growth stage based anywhere in the North East, and was set up with a view to creating 1,500 new jobs in the region, as well as helping to safeguard a further 1,300 jobs.
Having originally offered £20m of development capital, the value of the Growth Fund was increased by an additional £3m in summer 2013 by North East Finance, the holding fund manager with overall responsibility for the £142m Finance for Business North East initiative, and then by a further £3m at the start of 2015.
Thirty-one North East businesses have secured follow-up Growth Fund investments from NEL after their first capital injections helped them successfully implement business development plans.
NEL also currently has a number of investment proposals at different stages of the application assessment process, and is still actively looking to hear from regional firms that have development funding needs.
Yvonne Gale, chief executive at NEL, says: “Our Growth Fund investments make a tangible positive impact right across the North East in terms of sustainable employment, supply chain spending and wealth creation, and it’s one that will be felt by both individual firms and the wider North East economy over the long term.
“Having a flow of investment capital available to support ambitious North East businesses as they work through different stages of their development is absolutely vital.
“There is never any shortage of business plans landing on our doormat, and after another very positive year, it’s great to see that the appetite for the type of mezzanine funding we offer remains strong.
“The announcement late last year that the JEREMIE2 funds will remain exclusively available to North East businesses as was always planned is extremely positive news for the region, and we have no doubt that demand will be just as strong when they come on-stream next year as it has been for the Growth Fund over the last five years.”
Andrew Mitchell, chief executive at North East Finance, adds: “It’s great to see one of our fund managers passing yet another significant investment landmark, and underlines the fact that deal flow remains high and demand continues to be strong.”
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.
Managed by North East Finance, it will see £142m of investment capital injected into the region by the European Investment Bank and the European Regional Development Fund 2007-13 over a five year period.
For more information about NEL’s investment criteria, visit www.nel.co.uk or contact the investment team on 0345 369 7007.
The ERDF 2007-13 programme is bringing over £300m into North East England to support innovation, enterprise and business support. It will help create and safeguard 28,000 new jobs, start 3,000 new businesses and increase the region’s productivity by £1.1bn per annum.