Member Article

Firms boosted by £1bn investment

North East firms have benefited from £1 billion of investment thanks to a trio of schemes designed to boost business growth and job creation.

The North East Fund and its two predecessors have invested almost £400 million in 2,273 North East companies across multiple sectors. The investments have helped these businesses to secure a further £700 million from other funding partners – generating a £1.1 billion impact in the region.

In that time, the companies which received investment from the funds have created 10,654 jobs and safeguarded a further 12,603 jobs.

The most recent programme, delivered by the North East Fund, has invested over £128 million in 433 companies since it was launched in 2018, creating over 2,700 jobs so far and safeguarding over 2,200 more. The investments have helped these businesses to secure a further £238 million from other sources, resulting in a £366 million boost to the North East’s economy.

The North East Fund recently secured further cash from its existing funders which will enable it to continue to invest in companies across the region throughout 2024 and into 2025.

Jason Hobbs, Chief Executive Officer of the North East Fund, said: “I don’t think any of us who were involved in setting up the funds in the early 2000s could have imagined that they would make such a big impact. In the past 20 years, the three programmes have invested on average £50 million a year, helping hundreds of companies to launch and grow and acting as a catalyst to the investment ecosystem in the North East.”

“They have also been an important source of support for companies during the difficult economic conditions which resulted from the financial crisis of 2007-08 and from the fallout of the Brexit vote, Covid-19 pandemic, Ukraine war and the cost of living crisis.”

“The funds have worked alongside multiple partners, including the region’s universities and business support providers, to provide backing for companies which would not otherwise have had the opportunity to develop innovative projects in key sectors including clean energy, manufacturing, digital and low carbon technologies and life sciences. Providing funding on commercial terms rather than as grants means that the financial returns from successful investments are re-used to support new companies and with the aim of making the funds self-sustaining. Almost £40m of the current programme’s funding has come from returns on previous investments.”

“Members of the team have accumulated vast experience of the North East investment landscape and some have been involved in each of the three programmes. It is nearly 20 years since the former regional development agency, One North East, set up the predecessor to the North East Fund and tasked it with increasing the supply of finance for local SMEs. I’m proud that we have successfully delivered on this vision.”

The North East Fund provides finance to companies based in the North East of England and guidance on business support available in the region. It can provide investment from £100,000 to £1 million to SMEs based in Tyne & Wear, Northumberland and County Durham, of all stages of development and in most sectors. Funding can be provided for most purposes, including fitting out premises, recruiting staff or developing new products.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Gardiner Richardson .

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