The North East Fund has now invested over £100m in 250 companies across the region since May 2018.

Over £42m has been provided by the North East Fund, helping to leverage a further £58m from other investors.

Jason Hobbs, Chief Executive of the North East Fund, commented, “It’s great that we’ve been able to help so many local companies. With the disruption caused by Brexit and Covid19, it has been a difficult environment for business and so we’re pleased to have been a source of support.

“Our fund managers provide advice and funding and have also introduced companies to some of the other national and international investors which have more than doubled the value of our own investments, making a £100m impact on the region in the past two and a half years.

“The North East Fund was established with the support of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) with a remit to help stimulate business growth. That continues to be our aim but we and the ERDF recognise that the impact of Covid19 means that helping viable businesses to survive is now every bit as important as promoting growth.

“As such, our funds can now provide loans or equity investment to support working capital requirements and may also consider investing in companies operating in retail, hospitality and leisure sectors which were not previously eligible under ERDF rules.”

A recent six figure investment in Consett-based, Redemption Food Company, took the North East Fund over the 250 company milestone. The small-batch food manufacturer supplies wholesalers to commercial catering and restaurant businesses which stopped trading during lockdown, so its operations were massively disrupted. The loan, from the NEL Growth Capital Fund, has helped Redemption Food to manage its cash flow and retain most of its staff as it returns to more normal trading conditions.

Jason added, “We’re delighted to be able to help established businesses like the Redemption Food Company to weather the storm and to hopefully trade through and grow out of the Covid19 crisis. Our funds are available to help SMEs across Northumberland, Tyne & Wear and County Durham and can provide support for them at all stages of development, from start-up onwards. We provide loan or equity investment from £10k to £1m+ and expect to invest a further £78m in 350 more companies over the next few years – and would encourage any business managers who want to discuss funding options to get in touch.”