Ward Hadaway advises on £120m North East Fund
Law firm Ward Hadaway is celebrating its role in the creation of the nine-figure North East Fund.
The Newcastle-headquartered company’s corporate and commercial teams provided legal advice on the £120m investment pot, which could help grow hundreds of businesses in the region.
The North East Fund was finally confirmed late last year after months of negotiations.
Ward Hadaway’s work advising The North East Fund Limited continues the firm’s long association with investment funds in the region – an association dating back over eight years to the original establishment of the JEREMIE 1 (Finance for Business) programme.
In 2010, the firm advised on the operational set-up of the JEREMIE 1 holding company (North East Finance), overseeing the appointment of the individual fund managers.
Ward Hadaway also advised on previous extensions to the JEREMIE programme and has since provided legal advice for over 70 different investments in North East businesses made through JEREMIE.
Partner Colin Hewitt, Ward Hadaway’s head of commercial, led the team that advised The North East Fund Limited alongside corporate partner Richard Butts, banking and finance partner Julie Harrison and solicitor Rosie Moore.
Colin commented: “The fund is excellent news for the North East’s business community as its predecessor has been a vital source of finance in the region over the past eight years.
“It is expected that the new Fund could now help more than 600 companies, creating more than 3,500 jobs.
He added: “As a firm, we are committed to supporting the region so it has been a real honour to have been involved with these projects for so long and to be able to see the difference they have made to both individual businesses and the North East’s economy as a whole.”
The triggering of Article 50 in March last year delayed the initial launch of the North East Fund, also known as JEREMIE 2. But intense negotiations led to the European Investment Bank’s (EIB) top level management committee agreeing on the final piece of the funding jigsaw.
The EIB’s contribution will be part of a £145m funding package to be invested in the North East LEP region.
It will operate alongside the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, which invests in the Tees Valley, Yorkshire and the North West. The North East LEP led on the negotiations for the region.
Speaking further, partner Colin Hewitt said: “We are proud to have played our part in advising on the EIB finance agreement and ensuring that other funding streams from legacy and ERDF were aligned and fund management agreements were in a consistent form.”
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