HR Dept makes successful exit from first ever Small Loan Fund investment

Uploaded by in Case Studies on August 25, 2020

A South Tyneside-based business support specialist is looking to a brighter future after successfully completing its investment agreement with regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers.

The HR Dept Newcastle works with expanding companies across South Tyneside, Newcastle and Gateshead which don’t yet have their own senior in-house personnel resources to ensure they meet their regulatory and compliance responsibilities.

Set up six years ago by experience HR professional Jayne Hart, the business secured the first ever investment from the North East Small Loan Fund Supported By The European Regional Development Fund in May 2018, with a £25,000 investment being brought in to support its development plans.

Since then, The HR Dept Newcastle has opened up a new office in North Tyneside, strengthened its team of expert HR advisors, introduced new ways of working which provide even better results for clients and grown its year-on-year turnover by around 60%.

And it is now expecting to see interest in its services increase due to the new demands on small business management being brought about by the pandemic.

The HR Dept is a franchisee business with around 100 offices across the UK, with each one providing a range of services that allow owner/managers to get on with running and growing their companies.

It also helps clients develop a positive business reputation which in turn assists them in attracting the right calibre of new recruits.

Jayne Hart says: “Having the Small Loan Fund investment has given me the latitude to explore different opportunities, allocate resources where I thought they would have the greatest impact and develop the services that we provide for our clients.

“We’ve not grown in precisely the way I’d originally expected, but we’ve made good progress over the last couple of years and now have an extremely strong team in place that combines highly experienced HR advisers and very talented graduate recruits.

“The team has adapted well to working remotely during the pandemic, with video calling becoming the default for keeping in touch with both colleagues and clients, and we’re already helping a number of businesses that have been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak.

“Managing the redundancy process can be both complex and emotionally draining for business owners, especially within small business settings with tight-knit teams, and we’re working to take the weight off the shoulders of those who’re being forced to make decisions they don’t want to make.

“We’ve had a positive relationship with the NEL team over the last couple of years and their confidence in our plans has enabled us to move the business forward more quickly than would otherwise have been possible.”

Part of the £120m North East Fund and aimed predominantly at smaller SMEs, the £9m North East Small Loan Fund typically offers loans of between £10,000 and £100,000 to businesses in Tyne & Wear, Durham and Northumberland.

The Fund’s upper investment limit was recently doubled by NEL from £50,000 in response to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting increased growth capital needs of many SMEs.

Mark Wharton, portfolio executive at NEL Fund Managers, adds: “Jayne and her team take a proactive approach to helping their clients manage their HR responsibilities and it’s very pleasing to see the positive impact of our investment on her business.”

The overarching North East Fund will provide financial support for more than 600 businesses, creating around 3,500 jobs and delivering a legacy of up to £80m for further investment into the region.

For more information about NEL’s investment criteria, visit or contact the investment team on 0345 369 7007.

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