The North West Regional Development Agency (NWDA) announced the appointment of six fund managers responsible for the European backed business loan fund. The loan fund, an estimated £185 million, will cater for business in the region and constitutes a grant of £92.4 million from the European Regional Development Fund and an additional £92.4 million, to be received from the European Investment Bank.
According to the NWDA, this fund is by far one of the largest public sector funds in Europe and will be divided into six different streams to be managed by different fund managers under an agreed contract deal with the North West Business Finance, the agency responsible for the fund.
There will be a development capital of about £45 million that will be managed by YFM Private Equity and will offer expansion capital for small and medium sized enterprises (SME’s). A Business Loan fund, at about £35 million, will also be set up and is to be managed by FW Capital and will offer investment loans of about £50,000 to £250,000 to SMEs whose investment capital requirements are not being met by banks. A third Venture Capital fund, at about £30 million, will be set up and managed by Enterprise Ventures, its main aim being to offer early stage investment financing for SMEs.
The Biomedical Priority Sector Fund, at £25 million, will be managed by Spark Impact and is aimed at offering both venture capital and development capital investment. Additionally, the fifth fund, Energy and Environmental Priority Sector Fund, at £20 million, is to be managed by CT Investment Partners and will also offer venture capital and development capital investment and lastly, the sixth fund, the Digital and Creative Priority Sector Fund, at £15 million will be managed by AXM Venture Capital and is aimed at offering venture capital and development capital investment as well.
The fund was created via the European Commission’s Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprise Initiative (Jeremie) financing mechanism that enables the use of structural funding in loans as opposed to grants. NWDA chairman, Robert Hough, said the agency has been working with various agencies in the UK and Europe to attain this crucial investment funding for the region. He noted that, even though the fund had taken longer than expected, the wait was worthwhile, adding that from July, businesses in the region will have access to one of the largest support funds in the Europe to enable investments and growth for many years to come.
June 19, 2010.