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08 August 2013

More than 200 businesses receive investment from The North West Fund

Press Release 8th August 2013

The North West Fund has supported more than 200 'inspiring entrepreneurs' with finance, since its launch two and a half years ago. The investments totalling more than £60 million have been made into growing businesses across Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire and Cumbria.

Private sector co-funding has contributed a further £40 million, bringing the total value of investments into North West businesses to £100 million.

These milestones mean The Fund has invested almost 40% of its £155 million allocation, with more than two years still to invest and a strong pipeline of investments currently being developed.

The 200 businesses that have received funding are also providing a boost in employment for the region. To date, The Fund has helped to create or safeguard more than 1,500 jobs across the North West. We expect this figure to grow significantly, particularly as 20% of the investments have been into new start-ups.   

Through its dedicated sub-funds, investments have been made in a broad range of businesses, with more than £17 million having been invested into over 50 businesses in 2013 alone. Highlight investments for 2013 include;

  • Investment of £500,000 from The North West Fund for Venture Capital into Fourteen-IP, a 'management break-out' team who set up their own business providing communications solutions for hotels;
  • A £100,000 loan from The North West Fund for Loans Plus into Sefton-based CNC Robotics, a robotics company which uses software and robots to produce sculptures from a diverse range of materials.
  • An investment by The North West Fund for Digital & Creative into Hulme-based software developer, Liquid Bronze. Its products enable domiciliary care agencies to efficiently co-ordinate and monitor their home-care staff, and for carers to securely access client records remotely;
  • An investment by The North West Fund for Biomedical into Perfectus Biomed which specialises in microbiological testing and is based at Sci-Tech Daresbury; and
  • A follow-on investment of £350,000 by The North West Fund for Energy & Environmental into Cheshire-based Imperative Energy, a supplier of bioenergy solutions to industrial, commercial and public sector clients in the UK and Ireland.

Cliff Maylor, chief executive of North West Business Finance, which manages The North West Fund, said: "We are incredibly proud to have reached these key milestones, particularly whilst the economic environment remains so challenging.

"The business and entrepreneurial talent in the North West is impressive and our priority is to support these growing businesses with finance, whether they are just starting up or looking to expand. 

"During 2013 we have already invested more than £17 million into over 50 businesses. This is testament to our team of fund managers who continue to work hard across the region, building relationships with businesses, intermediaries and other key stakeholders.

"The interest from entrepreneurs has been very encouraging but we know that we still have a great deal of work to do to ensure that every penny of our £155 million is invested wisely for the benefit of the region, creating a lasting legacy for the businesses of the future."

The North West Fund is a £155 million evergreen fund supported by the European Investment Bank and European Regional Development Fund to supply debt and equity funding to small and medium-sized enterprises in the North West of England, or those wanting to relocate to the region.

Earlier this year, The Fund completed a reorganisation of its Development Capital Fund, creating two new funds. The North West Fund for Loans Plus, which is managed by FW Capital, offers debt finance, and The North West Fund for Mezzanine, which is managed by Enterprise Ventures, offers businesses mezzanine loans and equity investments. They are designed to be closely tailored to the investment needs of established SMEs based in the North West.



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