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31 January 2013

The North West Fund invests £32million in 2012

Press Release 31st January 2013

  • The North West Fund finished 2012 with a strong investment performance, investing £32million in the year
  • Since its launch, two years ago, the Fund has invested £43million
  • 146 North West businesses have been supported with funding
  • Over 1,000 jobs have been created or safeguarded
  • The Fund has a healthy pipeline of investments for 2013 and expects to make approximately £35million of investments this year

The North West Fund has enjoyed a strong 2012 after investing £32million in 95 businesses across the region.

In total, The Fund has invested £43million into 146 businesses. The investments have been made across Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire and Cumbria, by the six sub-funds.

Through its investments, The North West Fund has created or safeguarded more than 1,000 jobs in the region. Approximately 850 of these jobs have been created or safeguarded in 2012.

Cliff Maylor, chief executive of North West Business Finance, which manages The North West Fund, said the pipeline of future deals is strong for 2013, with more investments to be made across the region by its dedicated sub-funds for Business Loans, Venture Capital,
Development Capital, Energy & Environmental, Biomedical and Digital & Creative.

Key investments completed during 2012 included:

• A £190,000 loan by The North West Fund for Business Loans, managed by FW Capital, into Cheshire-based Mattroe which supplies North West Housing Associations and Trusts with white goods and furniture for their social housing schemes;

• A significant investment by The North West Fund for Venture Capital, managed by Enterprise Ventures, into Salford Quaysbased online payment provider App55 to develop new smartphone, tablets and computer payment products;

• A six-figure investment by The North West Fund for Digital & Creative, managed by AXM Venture Capital, into Liverpoolbased software firm Setgo to help the business further develop its software solutions;

• The North West Fund for Biomedical, managed by SPARK Impact, invested just under £1million into Zilico, a Manchesterbased company that manufacturers a device to help diagnose cervical cancer; and

• A £550,000 investment by The North West Fund for Energy & Environmental, managed by CT Investment Partners, into Merseyside-based Ultromex, which developed market leading processes for the recovery of high-value metals from electronic and industrial waste

Cliff Maylor said: "Since The Fund launched in 2010, we have been delighted by the quality of applications from businesses in the region. We are beginning to see the significant impact that The Fund is having on the North West's economy with several sub-funds already making follow-on investments.

"Last year was all about inspiring entrepreneurs and encouraging them to apply for funding to achieve their growth aspirations. This year, while our focus is still to make sound investments in the region's SMEs, we are committed to safeguarding and creating many more jobs in the North West.

"As the largest fund of its kind in the UK, The North West Fund provides an incredible opportunity for businesses in the region. Given the high quality of our investment pipeline we are extremely optimistic about the prospects for 2013 as a whole and we are currently anticipating investment levels of approximately £35million for the year."

Sir Howard Bernstein, Vice Chair of the North West European Regional Development Fund Local Management Committee said; "The North West Fund, under its new leadership, is now on track and delivering finance where it needs to be - with local businesses in key sectors within the region. Investments are now being made on a significant scale with more of the same promised in 2013 and beyond."

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


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