A successful North East pizza brand is aiming to take a bigger slice of the Newcastle food market with the help of a five-figure investment from the North East Small Loan Fund Supported by The European Regional Development Fund.

Scream For Pizza is set to open a new ‘grab and go’ pizza and ice cream outlet in the heart of Newcastle’s Quayside as the latest stage of its plans to grow and diversify the business.

Up to ten new jobs are expected to be created at the new restaurant, taking the firm’s total workforce up to 25, and it is expected to be ready to welcome its first customers in August.

After working with regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers to secure a £40,000 Small Loan Fund investment, the Scream For Pizza management team has finalised its design concepts and product ideas for the new venue, as well as purchasing the equipment required to get things up and running.

And it is also now looking at options for opening further venues elsewhere in the region which will offer a range of different pizza concepts.

Scream For Pizza was conceived by directors Victoria Featherby and Alexandra Walker, who left their cruise ship jobs in 2010 to move to Naples and train at the celebrated La Notizia restaurant under chef Enzo Coccias.

They launched a mobile food van service from a converted former French army ambulance in Newcastle in 2014 and opened their first restaurant in Sandyford five years later, with a Scream For Pizza concession also now established within the Full Circle Brewery in Hoults Yard.

Victoria Featherby says: “We’ve remained open and very busy right through the pandemic, and we’re ready now to get on with the next stage of our growth plans.

“The original idea behind the business – to use locally sourced, seasonal ingredients, great quality Italian artisanal products and traditional techniques to create pizza worth screaming for – has never changed, and remains the inspiration for the new Quayside restaurant.

“While it will have around ten seats, it’s very much based around the ‘grab and go’ concept, with the products on offer tailored to appeal to customers who are on the move or with limited time to find some food.

“There’s not a huge amount of competition on the Quayside for the sort of service we’ll be providing, which we think will really appeal to local office workers on their lunchbreaks, people enjoying a night out on the Quayside and visitors to weekend markets and other city centre events.

“We think there are also lots of opportunities to grow the business by tweaking the Scream concept and rolling it out in different locations, and once the Quayside outlet is up and running, we’ll be looking at how we might put these ideas into practice.

“We know other local businesses in the food sector in which NEL has previously invested and got good advice from their investment team, as well as the incentive to make improvements to our financial structures and processes that will benefit us as the business grows.”

Jonathan Armitage, investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, adds: “Scream For Pizza has built up a loyal fan base and a fantastic reputation for great food, and it’s exciting to be part of the next stages of development of such an exciting business.”

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.