Absolute Antibody
Rebecca Wayman

£50m investment milestone hit and 600 jobs created for North of England

FW Capital has invested £50m from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) into 170 businesses across the North and created over 600 jobs to date.

The funding is designed to drive growth across various sectors, from digital and software to manufacturing and construction.

FW Capital was appointed in 2017 to manage NPIF - FW Capital Debt Finance to support businesses through two £51m funds covering both the North West and the Tees Valley and Cumbria.

Since then, it has expanded its offices in Billingham, opened an office in Penrith and five new appointments this year alone have taken it to a team of thirty across the North.

Joanne Whitfield, FW Capital’s fund director for Tees Valley, said: “It’s been an incredibly busy year and this £50m milestone is testament to the strength of the business community across the North and the ability of our team to deliver growth capital to SMEs.

“As ever we are here to help businesses innovate and expand as well as secure and create jobs and it’s great to see this increased take up from management teams with strong plans for the future.

“Having our local teams across the patch gives investees confidence that help is on hand - our focus is always on long-term relationships and pragmatic support and it’s nice to see this paying off.”

Gary Guest, FW Capital fund director for Cumbria and the North West, added: “Access to investment capital is always one of challenges that SMEs face and we are pleased to be able to offer flexible finance [for] Northern businesses.

“It’s been a big year for FW Capital and our investees and we look forward to building on this in 2020.”

Absolute Antibody is one Tees Valley-based business which has benefited from a six figure investment.

From its headquarters in Wilton, the business specialises in the sequencing, engineering and recombinant production of antibodies and offers related protein engineering services.

Absolute Antibody initially operated from offices and labs in Oxfordshire, but as it expanded moved its UK labs to the Wilton Centre, Redcar.

The management team led by CEO Nicholas Hutchings now wishes to add a third production line based in an independent laboratory in the Wilton Centre to ensure capacity for growth.

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