An ambitious North East estate and lettings agent is casting its eyes outside the region after securing a six-figure investment from the North East Growth Capital Fund Loan Fund Supported by The European Regional Development Fund.

My Property Box offers a full end-to-end property service, including sales, lettings, management and investment advice, and operates across every part of the North East, as well as down to Richmond and Catterick in North Yorkshire.

It has completed nine acquisitions in the last four years, with the purchases of Jesmond-based Acorn Properties and KIS Lettings in South Shields completed last month to further strengthen its presence in Tyneside, Wearside and Northumberland.

My Property Box has now worked with regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers to bring in the £300,000 Growth Capital Fund investment, which it is using to help consolidate its present market position, enhance its services and act on any future acquisition opportunities.

The business is already active in North Yorkshire, but is open to moving further south into Leeds and West Yorkshire and across into Cumbria if the right opportunities come along.

Founded ten years ago by entrepreneur Ben Quaintrell, My Property Box built its reputation by its early adoption of digital technologies which supported the development of a business model which hadn’t previously been seen in the North East residential property market.

It now employs more than 50 people across the region and has around 1,600 properties in its lettings portfolio.

My Property Box was introduced to NEL by David Paget of Atlas Trade Finance, while the financial due diligence on the investment was carried out by Atom Financial of Stockton-on-Tees.

Ben Quaintrell says: “The business has evolved over the last decade, but we have always stayed true to the principles on which it was founded by utilising advanced digital technologies to deliver the best possible standards of customer service.

“We’ve been able to complete a significant number of acquisitions over the last few years that have come along at the right time in the right places for us, and it’s pleasing that many of them have come from rival businesses approaching us about taking on their operations.

“In the short term, we’re focusing on consolidation, but we’re very much open to making more acquisitions in the future, especially in areas like Leeds, West Yorkshire and Cumbria where we’re confident our business model would succeed.

“The NEL team was brilliant in explaining how their investment offering worked and was clearly very interested in our business ideas right through the process – we really can’t thank them enough.”

Jane Siddle, senior investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, added: “Ben and his team have built a very successful business over the last decade and have the expertise, systems and resources in place it required to keep progressing, both within and outside the North East.”

The 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 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.