The Finance for Business North East Fund was unveiled by Rosie Winterton MP, Minister for Regional Economic Development and Co-ordination, at an event in Durham.
The £125m fund, formerly called JEREMIE, will underpin the growth of business start-ups, technology-based companies and growing smaller businesses — helping to create jobs and prosperity for the region through targeted loans and equity investments. Over the next five years, it is expected to support up to 850 small and medium-sized North East companies, with the aim of creating more than 5,000 jobs.
The European Investment Bank is committing £62.5m into the fund, with £44.25m coming from the European Regional Development Fund 2007-2013 and £18.25m from regional development agency One North East.
Finance for Business North East comprises six separate funds, namely:
• NorthStar Equity Investors, who will manage the £15m Technology Proof of Concept Fund and the £20m Seed Fund.
• IP Group, who will run the £25m Technology Fund from offices in Newcastle.
• Rivers Capital Partners, a joint venture between technology investment firm, E-Synergy, and local business advisors Finance Tree of Newcastle — who will manage the £7.5m Angel Match Fund.
• FW Capital, who will manage the £20m Growth Plus Fund through their new North East office.
• NEL Fund Managers, of Newcastle, who will run the £20m Growth Fund.
Launching the fund, Rosie Winterton MP, said, “The recent economic situation has had a significant impact on the people and businesses of the North East. This venture capital fund is a key part of getting critical help to small and medium sized businesses to invest in the recovery. Along with other Government support measures, this will help ensure the region’s economic prosperity, helping hundreds of businesses and creating thousands of new jobs.”
Confirmed Malcolm Page, One North East deputy chief executive, “The creation of the Finance for Business North East Fund has been led by One North East and will underpin the companies that will help lead the growth of the North East economy as it emerges from recession.
“The fund represents an exciting new era in publicly backed venture capital in our region, and the support of the European Investment Bank and European Commission is a real vote of confidence in our regional economy.”
Companies interested in accessing fund finance can register their details now at www.onenortheast.co.uk/financeforbusinessnortheast and they will be contacted by a fund manager or go to www.northeastfinance.org