North-east boosted by £120m investment fund

A £120m investment fund designed to support local business and create new jobs will now go live after the agreement was signed by the representatives from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and The North East Fund Limited (TNEFL).

The fund will offer investments including debt, equity and mezzanine funding in the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (Lep) area. It will offer financial support for more than 600 businesses, creating about 3,500 jobs over the life of the fund and ensuring a legacy of up to £80m for further investment over the next decade.

Fund managers have been appointed to manage five separate funds which will cater to the needs of businesses at different stages across different sectors. Details of the Fund Managers are expected to be announced in early April.

Helen Golightly, executive director for the North East Lep, which led the project team negotiating for the region, said: ‘We have always believed that retaining investment funds exclusively for North East companies was the right decision and are grateful to the Treasury, EIB and Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government for their efforts and support to the team.’

This is a fantastic achievement for the north-east and all the tireless work behind the scenes has now paid off.’

Exchequer secretary to the treasury Robert Jenrick added: ‘This is an important step in ensuring that growth and opportunity are spread fairly across the country. The £120m investment will be a big boost to small businesses operating in the North East, driving productivity and bolstering the Northern Powerhouse’s economy.’

Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry said: ‘With more than £120m of investment flowing into the region, strengthening local businesses and creating thousands of new jobs, the North East Fund signals another major economic boost to the Northern Powerhouse.

‘It will provide welcome finance for smaller businesses across the North East to reach their full growth potential while bolstering the Northern Powerhouse’s reputation as a world-beating location to start and grow your business.’

Andrew Mitchell, chief executive of the North East Fund, said: ‘This new fund is a feather in the cap for the North East and a vote of confidence in our economic potential. The North East Lep’s backing has been critical to getting this across the line and we can now focus on investing on the brightest and best businesses in the region.’


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