More than 80 representatives from the region’s leading professional services firms joined local business representatives to raise a glass to the success of the Finance For Business North East Growth Fund.
Hosted by regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers, which administers the Growth Fund, the event was designed to celebrate the positive impact on the region that the fund has had over the last four years, and to encourage attendees to put new names forward that might become part of their growing investee portfolio.
Guests at the event, which took place at historic Trinity House on Newcastle’s Quayside, were able to toast the Growth Fund’s impact on dozens of regional firms with a range of beers made by one of the firms that has received investment from it.
Delavals Brewers, which recently secured a six-figure Growth Fund investment to support the development of its National Trust Beer Club, gave a tutored tasting of its range of products that are named after trust properties across the North East.
Aimed at regional businesses which are at a development and growth stage, the £23m Growth Fund offers investments of up to £750,000 to businesses in any part of the region, and forms part of the wider Finance for Business North East Fund initiative.
More than £16m has so far been invested from the Growth Fund by NEL, with a substantial number of further applications currently at various stages of the investment process.
Barrie Hensby, chief executive at NEL Fund Managers, said: “It has been an extremely busy four years since the Growth Fund opened for business, and while our inquiry pipeline is perhaps as full as it has ever been, we’re keen to hear from as many more North East businesses as possible as we enter the final year of the Fund’s investment period.
“The regional intermediary community has been especially important in identifying client companies that would be suitable Growth Fund candidates and then helping them secure investments from us, and having so many of them at the event gave us the chance to reinforce the availability of development capital to ambitious firms with robust business plans and strong management teams.
“Being able to include one of our investees at the centre of this event was particularly pleasing.”