Growth capital and small loan funds open for business

Durham-based businesses are invited to apply for investments from two new funds worth a total of £27m that could help expand their operations and create new jobs.
NEL Fund Managers is the only fund management firm to be awarded two of the five funds that make up the new £120m North East Fund Supported by The European Regional Development Fund. It’s now actively looking for potential investees from County Durham, as well as Tyne and Wear and Northumberland to put applications forward.
The £18m North East Growth Capital Fund has been designed to create over 800 jobs in more than 70 regional firms over the next five years and offers unsecured investments of up to £500,000 to established businesses looking to realise their growth potential.
Aimed predominantly at smaller SMEs, the £9m North East Small Loan Fund typically offers loans of between £10,000 and £50,000 to businesses in the same areas and is designed to assist with the creation of over 500 new regional jobs in more than 320 SMEs over the same period.
Dr Yvonne Gale, chief executive at NEL Fund Managers, said: “Our investment mission is to start utilising these funds as quickly and efficiently as possible, and to get them to management teams with robust growth plans that will take their businesses forward.
“Being given responsibility for managing two elements of the North East Fund is recognition of our strong track record of investing successfully in hundreds of North East firms that have gone to scale up their operations, create new regional jobs and achieve significant commercial success. Both the Growth Capital Fund and Small Loan Fund have been tailored to meet the investment needs of specific businesses, and are available to firms trading across most industry sectors for a wide range of purposes.
“Our investments make a tangible long-term impact on the sustainable success of the North East economy, and we’re excited at the opportunities to help even more regional firms achieve their goals over the next five years.”
The overarching North East Fund will provide financial support for more than 600 businesses, creating around 3,500 jobs and delivering a legacy of up to £80m for further investment into the region.