A specialist North East workplace consultancy is looking to further extend its presence across the UK with the help of a five-figure investment from the North East Small Loan Fund Supported by The European Regional Development Fund.
Talk Works aims to help improve the mental health and well-being of individuals and organisations by delivering rapid access to evidence-based therapy, e-learning and training services both in person and online.
The Gateshead-based firm’s expert practitioners work alongside HR departments, occupational health teams and business managers to help employees work well, feel well and engage well at work.
It has now worked with regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers to bring in the £50,000 investment, which will support a new business development and marketing drive, as well as the recruitment of the additional staff required to meet growing client demand.
Four new jobs will be created within its head office team, while it is also looking to expand the network of specialist practitioners that support the delivery of its services.
Founded by clinical psychologists Dr Jennifer Cottam and Jane McCarthy in 2014, Talk Works already lists a growing number of well-known names among its client base, including the North East Ambulance Service, Newcastle United Football Club, the Marine Management Organisation and the Percy Hedley Foundation.
The business was picked out as ‘one to watch’ by Goldman Sachs when it took part in the investment bank’s 10,000 Small Businesses UK programme in 2021, while it is also currently working towards B Corp Certification.
Kathy Bevan, Managing Director at Talk Works, says: “Employees are every business’s most important asset, and the importance of ensuring they are in the best possible place to fulfil their roles has become universally recognised in recent years.
“Management teams know that they can face a wide range of different challenges in creating the conditions in which this can happen and the expertise we offer provides practical solutions for overcoming these barriers.
“Our services are applicable to businesses of every size, although we tend to find that they have the biggest impact in larger organisations, and the range of sectors in which we’re already active shows their relevance to every industry.
“We have very few direct competitors in the North East and have been able to secure a strong position in the regional market, but now want to spread our wings further and deliver the positive impacts that our expert team facilitates for clients right across the UK.
“Being able to find growth capital locally was important to us and the NEL team’s hands-on, supportive approach made accessing it a pretty straightforward process.”
Susan Snowdon, Investment Executive at NEL Fund Managers, adds: “The Talk Works team recognised a growing workplace need and has developed a high-quality service that enables employers and their staff to gain substantial, tangible benefits.”
Part of the £120m North East Fund and aimed predominantly at smaller SMEs, the £9m North East Small Loan Fund typically offers loans of up to £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 2,500 jobs and delivering a legacy of up to £80m for further investment into the region.
NEL Fund Managers is also responsible for managing the £18m North East Growth Capital Fund, which offers unsecured investments of up to £500,000 to established businesses looking to realise their growth potential.
For more information about NEL’s investment criteria, visit www.nel.co.uk or contact the investment team on 0345 369 7007.