The North East’s longest-standing business investor has taken the total amount it has invested in growing regional companies past the £100m mark.

NEL Fund Managers has made 847 investments across the North East since being set up in 1989, helping to create and secure thousands of jobs within hundreds of companies along the way.

Since becoming regulated for the conduct of investment business in 1993, it has managed 13 different funds, and is currently responsible for two of the five funds that make up the £120m North East Fund Supported By The European Regional Development Fund.

The £18m North East Growth Capital Fund has been designed to create around 790 jobs in more than 70 regional firms over the life of the programme and offers unsecured investments of up to £500,000 to established businesses looking to realise their growth potential.

The £9m North East Small Loan Fund typically offers loans of between £10,000 and £50,000 to businesses in Tyne & Wear, Durham and Northumberland, and is designed to assist with the creation of over 1,200 new jobs in more than 320 SMEs over the life of the fund.

A total of 64 investments have been made from the two funds since their launch in April last year, and NEL is continuing to actively look for further investment opportunities.

Dr Yvonne Gale, chief executive at NEL Fund Managers, says: “This landmark demonstrates the consistent flow of commercially-strong ideas that keep coming from North East entrepreneurs and we’re proud of the positive impact on development of the regional economy that has followed from our support of them.

“Having ready access to investment capital is essential for ambitious businesses wanting to move through the different stages of their development, and many of the firms that we’ve backed have used this capital as the bedrock for future national and international success.

“Our continuing mission is to keep helping regional firms implement sustainable business growth models that enable them to create more and better jobs, and we have a strong flow of investment proposals coming in that will allow us to do this.”

Jason Hobbs, chief executive at the North East Fund, adds: “NEL has and continues to play a key role in delivering investment for SMEs via the North East Fund, especially in the current climate where business support is essential to help drive the region’s economic growth.

“It is a significant milestone to hit and one which will have helped many North East companies to reach their growth potential and create new jobs, therefore we look forward to working closely with the team moving forward.”