A County Durham training company is using a five-figure investment from the North East Small Loan Fund Supported By The European Regional Development Fund to scale up and target new markets around the UK.

Oracle Training Solutions is aiming to double its turnover to around £1.5m and create up to ten new jobs over the next year after winning the £30,000 investment through regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers.

Oracle, which is expecting to create three new jobs at its Birtley headquarters in the near future, is setting up a new logistics academy in Yorkshire to build on the work it already does in the county and is also taking on its first contract in the South West which will see it working with people with disabilities in Somerset.

New vocational training services are being added to the company’s portfolio, while the management team is also looking at contract opportunities in the Midlands for the first time.

Oracle Training Solutions, which marks its tenth anniversary next year, delivers a wide range of work-based learning training courses and qualifications for clients across the North East and North Yorkshire.

Subject areas include teaching, management, administration, logistics and hospitality, with each course being tailored to the individual learner’s particular needs.

Courses are either delivered on clients’ premises or at Oracle’s own training centre in Birtley.

William Fitzpatrick, managing director at Oracle Training Solutions, says: “All our training is based round the strengths and needs of each individual and we aim to deliver high-quality education and training which will raise their skills and knowledge and so equip them to make the sort of progress in the workplace they’re looking for.

“We’re already very active in Yorkshire, but establishing a logistics academy there will give us a physical base from which we can make further gains right across the county and further south too.

“Doubling both our workforce and our turnover in the next year is a challenging target, but we’re already on our way towards achieving both ambitions and the expansion of both the services we provide and the areas in which we provide them will help us make swift further progress.

“The accessibility of the Small Loan Fund was an important factor in choosing to go down this investment route and the face-to-face support we got from the NEL team was extremely useful as we moved through the application process.”

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.

Jonathan Armitage, investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, adds: “Oracle has a strong track record in delivering impactful training and skills development courses and the investment we’ve made will support their growth ambitions by extending their operations into new areas.”

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.

NEL Fund Managers is actively looking for potential investees from Tyne & Wear, Durham and Northumberland to put their investment ideas forward.

For more information about NEL’s investment criteria, visit www.nel.co.uk or contact the investment team on 0345 369 7007.