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A spokesperson for the North East Fund Company, set up to run the fund when it goes live, said: “The North East Fund launch event was scheduled to take place on Thursday 15th June 2017.

“Following yesterday’s general election, we have taken the decision to postpone the launch event, in order to allow time for the newly elected administration to be formed.

“Government and the European Investment Bank have assured us of their continued support for the programme, however we want to make sure that the new administration is fully briefed on this new fund.

“The postponement of this event does not affect the North East Fund moving forward as planned. As soon as the programme goes live, North East SMEs will be notified immediately and the funds made available to them.”