L-R: Claire Hollyman (Trench Networks), Dawn Dunn (North East Fund) and Jan Oosthuizen (Mercia Fund Managers)
L-R: Claire Hollyman (Trench Networks), Dawn Dunn (North East Fund) and Jan Oosthuizen (Mercia Fund Managers)

North East Fund achieves £10m investment milestone

The North East Fund has invested £10m in the region’s businesses to date, new figures show.

The scheme has backed over 80 small- and medium-sized companies across the Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland, Northumberland, Durham, and North and South Tyneside areas with loans ranging from £10k to £2m.

Businesses supported by the Fund are using the cash to expand and create jobs. The latest to receive investment and drive the Fund past the £10m milestone was Northumberland’s Trench Networks, the firm behind a device that supplies superfast broadband in remote working environments.

Other recently backed businesses include Ronco Engineering and The HR Dept, based in Durham and South Tyneside respectively.

The North East Fund, backed by the European Investment Bank, has £120m of investment agreed for local SMEs over the next five years. Its aim is to support around 600 SMEs and help create as many as 2,500 jobs.

The £10m invested to date has been allocated from five separate loans – the venture, innovation, capital growth, development capital and small loan fund.

North East Fund marketing manager Dawn Dunn said: “This milestone is a significant indicator that the North East Fund is well on target to meet the demands of businesses across the region.

“We would encourage SMEs of all sizes to get in touch and find out how to access investment for the next stage of their development.”

She continued: “£10m is a significant amount and the first rung on the ladder to delivering the much larger pot of investment for the region.

“By providing the means, we will see return that will be invested directly back into the region with long-term benefits.”

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