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Jason Hobbs, CEO of The North East Fund Limited which has £120m of funding available for North East-based SMEs.

2019 sees North East Fund invest a further £20m in local businesses

2019 has seen over 130 of the region’s businesses receive more than £20m of investment from the North East Fund, a £120m programme which provides finance to SMEs across Tyne & Wear, Northumberland and County Durham.

Whilst the start of the year marked its first £10m investment milestone, the Fund has gone on to deliver double that amount, allowing businesses from sectors including engineering, automotive, software, services and advanced manufacturing to create new jobs, develop new products and grow their business.

In 2019, the North East Fund completed 19 investments in manufacturing businesses (totalling £5.4m), eight in engineering firms (£1.8m), four within the telecoms sector (£716k), 12 in biotech and other science/R&D-focused companies (£2.5m) and 16 in companies operating within the services sector including FinTech (£1m+).

Companies which have benefitted include County Durham-based medical x-ray technology firm, Ibex Innovations, South Tyneside family-run catering business, Elsie’s Kitchen, and Gateshead urban winery, Laneberg Wine.

CEO of the North East Fund, Jason Hobbs, said, “Assisting and supporting the growth of more than 200 businesses to date is a great achievement and our fund managers continue to deliver much-needed investment opportunities in turbulent times.

“The North East is a great place for both start-up and scale-up companies, and we are home to some very successful manufacturers, supply chain companies, industry-experts, creative innovators and key influencers who are working at the forefront of their respective industries, often on a global scale.

“The commitment, drive and ambition that we see is incredible, whether this be from a small family-run enterprises in the local community or a major employer. As we still have around £90m to invest over the next three years, I would encourage all businesses with growth ambitions, no matter what size, to get in touch to discuss what our fund managers can offer.”

Supported by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Investment Bank, the North East Fund provides businesses with guidance on funding options and advice on how to prepare applications.

Funding is available to SMEs at all stages of development with investments made by four fund management organisations; Northstar Ventures, NEL Fund Managers, Maven Capital Partners and Mercia Asset Management. More details regarding the North East Fund can be found at www.northeastfund.org