A Tyneside web design and digital marketing agency is scaling up and creating new jobs with the help of a five-figure investment from the North East Small Loan Fund Supported by The European Regional Development Fund.

Advertise1 provides a range of marketing communications services to clients across the North East SME community, as well as product and technical support where required.

Having worked with regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers to secure the £15,000 investment, the Gateshead-based firm is now looking to develop the capacity it needs to take on more and bigger contracts.

A new marketing manager and client relationship manager have already been brought in, while a new technical recruit is expected to follow in the near future.

New internal systems and products are also being developed to help manage the company’s increasing workflow as efficiently as possible.

Headquartered in the PROTO Emerging Technology Centre and with a satellite office in Cumbria, Advertise1 started on its path to investment after attending a collaborative ‘Business Goals’ networking event organised by NEL and accredited learning and development agency FIRST earlier in the year.

It is also planning to go into virtual reality (VR) to provide customers with 360 degree tours on their websites and to produce audio advertising for media such as radio, backing audio for video, app adverts and training videos using its on-site sound studio and in-house editing capabilities.

Founder and managing director Jon Waite says: “The business has grown organically over the last few years and it became clear this year that we’d reached the point where we needed additional resources if it was going to start to realise more of its potential.

“Bringing in more pairs of hands means we’re able to go for more and bigger contracts, while I’m able to spend more of my time on finding new business opportunities and developing the services that we offer.

“Our success so far has been built on maintaining close relationships with clients who understand the value of our work to their businesses and we’ll continue to focus on delivering the same levels of service as we grow.

“Getting support and advice from NEL and FIRST has helped us shape our business development plans and working with the NEL investment team was a very straightforward process.”

Abigail Cook, investment associate at NEL Fund Managers, adds: “Advertise1 has made good progress this year in what has obviously been a difficult climate for many and they’re now well set to take a big step forward in 2021.

“We’ve worked closely with FIRST over many months to help share the message about the positive impact that the investment capital we have available can have on ambitious regional businesses and it’s great to see this partnership delivering tangible investment results.”

Caroline Theobald, Chair of FIRST, says: “We believe that building a successful business is about developing the right skills and growing and then finding support from your network of contacts.

“The Building Goals event we organised with NEL combined both functions and we’re delighted that it’s achieved this tangible investment result for Advertise1.”

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 3,500 jobs and delivering a legacy of up to £80m for further investment into the region.