A South Tyneside-based business support specialist is set to widen its horizons thanks to a five-figure investment from the new North East Small Loan Fund Supported By The European Regional Development Fund.
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 four years ago by experience HR professional Jayne Hart and based at the Quadrus Centre in Boldon, the business has grown to now employ six people and also helps clients develop a positive business reputation which in turn assists them in attracting the right calibre of new recruits.
Having worked with regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers to secure a £25,000 investment from the Small Loan Fund, The HR Dept Newcastle is heading across the Tyne to open up a new office in North Tyneside and is planning to create a further six jobs over the next two years as a result.
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.
Jayne Hart says: “I worked in senior HR positions for a number of large organisations, but had reached a level where I felt I wasn’t always having the sort of direct impact on their operations that I wanted.
“Having always thought about running my own business, running The HR Dept Newcastle franchise seemed like a perfect move and we’ve been able to successfully grow the business over the last few years by meeting an important operational need within smaller firms that are themselves expanding.
“Our services fulfil a very specific need within SMEs that haven’t yet got the sort of HR infrastructure you’d find within larger businesses, and we focus only on our home patch to ensure we’re always on hand should any pressing personnel or regulatory issues arise for any of our clients.
“We’re following the lead of our ambitious clients and proactively looking to grow our own business, and expect to see our workforce double over the next couple of years as a result of setting up in North Tyneside.
“The Small Loan Fund provided us with a very accessible funding option and as well as helping us complete the application process, the NEL team’s guidance helped us identify exactly how this money would best be used within the business.”
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 £50,000 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.
NEL is also responsible for investing 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.
Mike Guellard, investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, adds: “Jayne presented a clear vision for how she wanted to extend a successful business formula, and we’re very happy to be helping her realise these ambitions.
“The Small Loan Fund has been tailored to meet the investment needs of specific small businesses, and is available to firms trading across most industry sectors for a wide range of purposes.
“We’re pleased with the levels of interest in both the Small Loan and Growth Capital Funds, and already have a strong pipeline of investments that we expect to go through from both funds over the coming months, but are still actively looking for further applications from North East firms that are looking to grow and create new jobs.”
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.
Dawn Dunn of the North East Fund says: “It’s good to see this South Tyneside business benefit from the very first investment from the Small Loans Fund.
“We hope this will encourage more people from the area, and across the whole NELEP region, to find out how the different elements of the North East Fund can help them to start or grow a business.”
Cllr Iain Malcolm, leader of South Tyneside Council, adds: “It’s fantastic to see a South Tyneside business achieving growth by accessing the North East Fund.
“I hope it will be the first of many businesses in the Borough to take advantage of this great opportunity to raise finance.
“Congratulations to Jayne and The HR Dept Newcastle – they are a well-established tenant at the Quadrus Centre and I wish them every success with their expansion plans.”
For more information about NEL’s investment criteria, visit www.nel.co.uk or contact the investment team on 0345 369 7007.