£120m North East Fund available for region’s businesses

22nd June 2018

North East Fund of £120m available for businesses seeking growth

The recently-launched North East Fund is a £120m investment programme available to SMEs across Durham, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear.

The initiative features five funds, each with a different investment focus to suit the sector-specific needs of the varying SMEs and where they may currently sit on the growth curve.

 

With this fresh deposit of investment capital now available to the North East business community, and real momentum behind it successfully reaching companies, there is a real opportunity for ambitious firms to access the capital that they need to grow, develop and create jobs over forthcoming years.

What is the North East Fund?

The role of the Fund is to oversee £120m of investment finance that has been provided to support small and medium-sized businesses in the North East of England.  The Fund has five fund managers, whose responsibility it is to ensure the capital is invested to support economic growth by enabling start-up and scale-up businesses to access the funds they need to create jobs and attract investment into the region.

The Fund aims to support over 600 North East businesses, creating around 3,500 jobs across the region.

Five Areas of Focus

The overall North East Fund is split into five distinct areas of focus, each with a separate fund.  These cover seed capital and early stage businesses through to well-established firms that want to take their operations to the next level.

Innovation Fund

The Innovation Fund looks for strong teams with scalable opportunities and invests up to £500,000 by way of loans or equity. Where possible, it provides further investment to support accelerated growth.

Venture Fund

The Venture Fund can invest up to £1m at any stage in the business life cycle but is specifically looking for those firms which are engaged in innovation or developing disruptive business models.

Capital Development Fund

The Development Capital Fund can invest from £400,000 to £2 million to support established businesses via debt finance, mezzanine loans or equity investment to help fulfil their growth potential. The Fund targets dynamic companies with strong management teams and ambitious growth plans.

The Growth Capital Fund

The Growth Capital Fund backs ambitious businesses with investment of up to £500,000 to accelerate growth potential.  The Fund can support a wide variety of growth plans and targets established businesses with strong management teams.

The Small Loan Fund

The Small Loan Fund backs small businesses with big plans. The Fund can support a wide variety of growth plans and typically advances loans of between £10,000 and £50,000 to support actively trading North East businesses. Businesses with a limited trading history are also eligible for support where a clear route to generating sales in the short term can be demonstrated.

How can businesses apply for funding?

The process of application is as simple as contacting The Fund or its individual fund managers.  All of the details can be found on the website http://www.northeastfund.org  There are also details of other sources of funding, support and investment on the site and dates for a series of events where businesses can learn more.

Ensure a professional approach and pitch

The Fund will undoubtedly attract a number of applications across the region.  If you are considering an application, you should give some thought to how you can stand out from others and ensure your business is viewed as an attractive proposition.

All of the funds make specific statements about looking for “strong management” and you should ensure the team responsible for applying and also managing the project are of a calibre that will be attractive to the investors.  Do they have the combined believability, understanding, and skills to realise your project from idea to reality?

Sound financials and forecasting will unquestionably play a part in consideration of applications.  You should deliver a robust business plan as part of your application, with realistic costs and projections included, along with your understanding of the market and clarity on how you intend to develop your strategy.

How can we help?

We are experienced in helping businesses to plan and prepare for funding applications and we can help to define your investment case to a professional and credible level.  For more information, please contact our expert Business Growth Advisor David Cook

Chartered Accountants in Sunderland, offering expertise on everything from Tax and Business Planning,
to Accounts and VAT.