Sunnyside Recruitment looks to Middle East for healthcare sector opportunities

Uploaded by in Recent Investments, Small Loan Fund on February 10, 2021

A North East recruitment agency is looking to make healthy progress in new overseas markets with the help of a five-figure investment from the North East Small Loan Fund Supported by The European Regional Development Fund.

Sunnyside Recruitment has primarily focused on the hospitality and catering sectors since being set up in 2016, but has also gradually built up a presence in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sector over the last couple of years.

As part of increasing its presence in these sectors, the Sunderland-based firm developed and launched a new Discover Medics branch last year, which has a particular focus on recruitment opportunities from Dubai and the United Arab Emirates.

The business is already partnering with a growing number of NHS Trusts in England and health boards within NHS Scotland, and has now worked with regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers to secure a £25,000 investment to help finance its future growth plans.

The investment is being used to enhance Discover Medics’ marketing and business activities, as well as to support the recruitment of new staff and bring in additional equipment.

It is planning to recruit a digital marketing apprentice and a trainee recruitment consultant in the coming months, with more jobs expected to follow as the business grows.

The business, which is a member of the North East England Chamber of Commerce, has been supported by Department of International Trade to expand its services to the UAE and other neighbouring Gulf states.

Himal Arachchi, founder and managing director of Sunnyside Recruitment, says: “I’ve always been passionate about international recruitment, and when the opportunity arose to recruit for a vacancy in Dubai, I saw how we might be able to develop a new side to the existing business which focused specifically on the healthcare sector.

“There is significant demand for permanent, fixed term and locum roles for doctors, nurses and allied health professionals, and having made good initial progress, we now have what we need to really start to realise the potential of the Discover Medics brand.

“We’re already developing a client portfolio of UK healthcare providers, and feel confident that the benefits we’re delivering to them will encourage more of their peers to look at how we can help them too.

“The Chamber of Commerce recommended that we speak to NEL about our investment requirements and the guidance we got from the team really helped us clarify how we could best utilise the investment they were offering.”

Jonathan Armitage, investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, adds: “Discover Medics offered both a well-defined brand offering and a clear vision for how it will be delivered, and the growth capital we’ve provided will enable it to make the most of both.”

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.

It is designed to assist with the creation of over 1,200 new regional jobs in more than 320 SMEs over the life of the fund.

The overarching £120m 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 on NEL’s investment criteria, visit or contact the investment team on 0345 369 7007.

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