A specialist healthcare training provider is set to put its scale up plans into action after securing a five-figure investment from the North East Small Loan Fund Supported by The European Regional Development Fund.

Breeze Academy offers industry-leading CPD training for healthcare professionals in a range of disciplines, including acupuncture & dry needling, sports massage, strength & conditioning and yoga teacher training, as well as coaching professionals who are looking to create their own online courses.

Headquartered in North Tyneside, it offers a hybrid training model which combines online learning through the Breeze Academy website with face-to-face sessions, and currently has a highly-qualified, six-strong team of trainers working with clients across the UK and overseas.

The £60,000 Small Loan Fund investment, which was obtained through regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers, will help the business scale up its operations by taking on more trainers with additional specialisms and enhancing its business development campaigns.

The business will also be looking to enhance its overseas client base, with target markets including North America, continental Europe and the Middle East, and it is aiming to double its turnover over the coming year.

Breeze Academy founder Dr Carl Clarkson began providing training services in 2009 alongside his everyday physiotherapy work before taking the business on full-time in 2021 to capitalise on a growing need among healthcare professionals for the type of training that he was delivering.

Dr Carl Clarkson says: “We’ve seen interest in the types of training that we provide growing substantially over the last decade, especially as acupuncture has become the preferred method of pain management with more and more healthcare professionals.

“The knowledge we share helps them learn new skills, which in turn benefits the health and well-being of the general population, and we’ve built a solid reputation for both the quality of our content and the way in which our team of expert tutors deliver it.

“We are now ready to take the business to the next level, know there are training needs in other areas of healthcare we can look to address and are especially keen to keep building what we offer to professionals interested in strength and conditioning training and sports massage.

“Expanding our team of tutors will also give me more time to focus on the strategic development of the business and we’re confident that we can double our turnover this year as a first step towards our eventual goals.

“NEL’s helpful investment team made the application process pretty straightforward and their backing is going to help accelerate the delivery of our ten-year growth plan.”

Susan Snowdon, investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, adds: “Breeze Academy has succeeded by meeting an acknowledged, growing need within the healthcare sector and is now well set to meet its scale-up ambitions over the coming years.”

Part of the £120m North East Fund and aimed predominantly at smaller SMEs, the £9m North East Small Loan Fund typically offers loans of between £10,000 and £100,000 to businesses in Tyne & Wear, Durham and Northumberland.

It is designed to assist with the creation of over 1,200 new regional jobs in more than 320 SMEs over the life of the fund.

The overarching £120m North East Fund will provide financial support for more than 600 businesses, creating around 2,500 jobs and delivering a legacy of up to £80m for further investment into the region.

NEL Fund Managers is also responsible for managing the £18m North East Growth Capital Fund, which offers unsecured investments of up to

£500,000 to established businesses looking to realise their growth potential.