The Finance for Business North East Angel Fund, part of the wider Finance for Business North East set of funds, launched four years ago and has now been awarded a 12-month extension.
Stewarded by Newcastle-based fund managers, Rivers Capital Partners, the Angel Fund has invested in 55 North East businesses over the last four years.
Rivers estimate the Angel Fund’s portfolio has contributed £17.1m worth of turnover in 2014 alone, and created and safeguarded almost 500 jobs.
The Angel Fund has supported businesses across a broad range of North East sectors including textiles, games development and explosives.
In November, AMA Group received £150,000 to support its Peterlee-based garment manufacturing operation which aims to revive the textiles industry in the North East.
Similarly, Middlesbrough-based games designers Game Tonic Interactive Ltd, secured a five-figure sum to fuel the development of their PC game Galaxodus — a single and multiplayer game set far in the future.
The Angel Fund can also act as a co-investment fund and has attracted business Angels to the tune of £7.2m in additional investment power.
Dr Michael Dickens, fund manager at Rivers Capital Partners, added: “The North East Angel Fund is recognised as the flexible fund for growing innovation.
“It offers a tailored investment solution, whether it be pure equity, pure loan, or anything in-between, to best suit the needs of the business.”
Rivers Capital Partners itself expanded in 2014 with the opening of a Middlesbrough office to open up its services in the south of the region. It has also delivered 26 events in the last year to educate entrepreneurs and businesses about accessing finance.
Jonathan Gold, director and founder of Rivers Capital Partners, added: “The continued interest in the Angel Fund is evidence of the determination of North East entrepreneurs and investors to make the most of the improving economy.”
The Angel Fund is part of the £125m Finance for Business North East programme — a suite of seven venture capital and loan funds which is backed by the North East of England European Regional Development Fund programme, the European Investment Bank and the UK government.
It was established under the JEREMIE initiative: a joint initiative of the European Commission and the European Investment Bank which stands for Joint European Resources for micro to medium enterprises.