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28 April 2015

Inspiring Entrepreneurs and Financing Ambition

"Through our portfolio of 360 businesses we have also created and safeguarded more than 3,500 jobs in the region"

 Fund review

As we approach the summer months we look forward to reaching our next investment milestone of £125 million of funding into North West businesses.

To the end of March 2015, we have invested £118 million into 360 businesses and we are pleased that this investment has been matched with a further £88 million in private sector finance.

We are beginning to see the significant impact that The Fund is having on the North West economy. Many of the businesses we invested in over the last four years are moving into new markets, launching new products or services, diversifying or recruiting more staff.  Through our portfolio of 360 businesses we have also created and safeguarded more than 3,500 jobs in the region and this figure will continue to rise as the businesses grow.

Our fund managers within the sub-funds have made investments in a broad range of high quality businesses during 2015, highlights include; 


  • Bootle-based coffee roaster, Joe Black Coffee, whose coffee is served at top restaurants and coffee shops across the North West, received a £150,000 loan from The North West Fund for Loans Plus.
  • Refrigerant Solutions, which has developed a more environmentally-friendly range of refrigerant gases, has received a £750,000 investment from The North West Fund for Mezzanine.
  • Document Direct which is based in Liverpool and provides a digital dictation and
    transcription service for law firms and medical & health centres secured a £400,000 investment from The North West Fund for Venture Capital.
  • The North West Fund for Micro Loans provided a loan of £49,500 to Greener
    Surfacing which is based in Lancashire. The company harvests old road surfaces and uses a hot recycling process to produce new quality asphalt.
  • Leadership development specialist Cirrus secured a £600,000 investment from The North West Fund for Digital & Creative. The company, which is based in Wilmslow, delivers leadership, talent and engagement programmes for international clients.

Many of our fund managers have also been busy making follow-on investments, to continue supporting their existing portfolios with much needed finance. Businesses in the region will need to continue to access alternative finance in the years ahead, to maintain this level of growth. 

The finance we provide is 'alternative' or 'gap' funding and therefore many of our investments and loans are made at the higher end of the risk profile. As a result, we can expect some of our investments to fail and as a consequence, we anticipate a greater failure rate than some of the more traditional providers of debt or equity finance.

However, having now supported more than 360 businesses in the region with finance, we have already seen approximately 15% of our loans successfully repaid as well as our first profitable cash exit from our equity investments.

We are proud of the positive impact our funding is having on the region, in terms of economic growth and employment. We will continue to work closely with our portfolio companies and regional stakeholders to ensure that our investments drive growth and deliver prosperity for the North West long into the future.  

If you are interested in finding out more about equity/loan funding to help grow your business please visit: http://www.thenorthwestfund.co.uk/funds

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