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30 October 2014

Inspiring entrepreneurs and financing ambition

The North West Fund celebrated a number of key milestones in the last quarter, having invested over £100 million in more than 300 businesses...

 Fund review

The North West Fund celebrated a number of key milestones in the last quarter, having invested over £100 million in more than 300 businesses. The investments have been made across Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire and Cumbria.

We are also pleased that private sector co-funding has contributed a further £60 million, bringing the total value of investments into North West businesses, to more than £160 million.

Through the portfolio of over 300 businesses we have also created or safeguarded more than 2,500 jobs, helping to deliver employment, skills and prosperity for the region. This figure is expected to grow significantly, particularly as more than 20% of the investments made, have been into new start-ups.  

In September, we also announced the launch of our Micro Fund, a new sub-fund specifically tailored to smaller investments. The North West Fund for Micro Loans is open to growing businesses in the region, with finance starting from £25,000 up to £50,000.

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

  • Investment from The North West Fund for Venture Capital into Redag Crop Protection an agrochemical firm which will operate from laboratories in Alderley Park, Cheshire and will create 20 scientific research posts in its first three years
    of operation. 
  • Formwork Direct International, a leading supplier of Formwork and Falsework systems used in the construction industry has secured a six-figure investment from The North West Fund for Loans Plus.
  • Liverpool-based Videregen, which is attempting to create the World's first commercially available tissue engineered stem cell organ replacement product, received investment from The North West Fund for Biomedical.
  • North West R&D company, 2DHeat which has developed and patented a novel form of electric heating element, received £125,000 equity investment from The North West Fund for Energy & Environmental

Looking forward to continued strong growth

Our funding is already having a positive impact on the region, in terms of economic growth, jobs and prosperity, but the final year of investment for this programme is hugely important. We must invest the remaining capital before 31st December 2015 and we are aware that this date is fast approaching.

We have a strong pipeline of investments for the rest of 2014 and into 2015, and we are keen to continue inspiring entrepreneurs to grow their businesses with our legacy finance. It is important to us that sources of alternative finance remain accessible to businesses in the North West.  Therefore, we continue to work closely with our stakeholders at the European Regional Development Fund and the European Investment Bank.

Also, in collaboration with each of the North West Local Enterprise Partnerships we are considering the opportunity of launching a successor North West JEREMIE programme which would continue to provide SME finance beyond 2015.

The details of a successor programme are still to be finalised but the initial feedback is positive and we see a strong demand for alternative forms of loan and venture capital finance across the region. It is clear that a second programme like, 'The North West Fund' would boost the legacy funding available to North West businesses and help to ensure continuity and stability in economic growth.


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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