The North East’s longest-standing business investor has taken the total amount it has invested from the North East Fund Supported By The European Regional Development Fund in growing regional firms past the £20m mark.
NEL Fund Managers took on responsibility in 2018 for investing the £18m North East Growth Capital Fund and £9m North East Small Loan Fund, and has since made a total of 243 investments from the two funds across the region.
More than £8m of the total has been invested over the last two years through the government-backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) – and NEL is continuing to actively look for further investment opportunities.
The North East Growth Capital Fund was designed to create around 790 jobs in more than 70 regional firms over the life of the programme and offers unsecured investments of up to £500,000 to established businesses looking to realise their growth potential.
The North East Small Loan Fund typically offers loans of between £10,000 and £100,000, and is designed to assist with the creation of over 1,200 new jobs in more than 320 SMEs over the life of the fund.
Since becoming regulated for the conduct of investment business in 1993, NEL Fund Managers has managed 13 different funds and has made a total of 1,026 investments across the North East.
Chief executive Dr Yvonne Gale says: “Despite everything that’s been thrown at North East businesses and the wider regional economy over the last two and a half years, we’ve continued to see a strong flow of companies coming forward with robust growth plans that required our investment support.
“To have been able to invest more than £20m in just over four years is testament not only to the quality of the ideas that have come our way, but also to the determination and dedication of our expert team and the region’s professional services community in making these deals happen.
“We’re proud of the positive impact that our investments are having on the regional economy and the diverse ways in which they help ambitions North East firms realise their growth potential.
“Interest in accessing capital from our portions of the North East Fund remains high, and we are continuing to work towards adding new names to our portfolio of investee businesses.”
Jason Hobbs, chief executive at the North East Fund, adds: “The North East Growth Capital Fund and North East Small Loan Fund allow established businesses to meet their finance needs that aren’t being met elsewhere. This direct investment not only benefits those businesses but has a knock-on effect to the wider North East economy.
“Over the past four years we’ve invested almost £90m, alongside that we’ve managed to lever in co-investment of over £153m. So, overall, the North East Fund has helped businesses in the region to raise almost a quarter of a billion pounds in finance. That is testament to the hard work of NEL and our other fund managers, who continue to seek more ambitious North East businesses to support.”
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 about NEL’s investment criteria, visit www.nel.co.uk or contact the investment team on 0345 369 7007.