Regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers is bouncing into the new year on the back of its busiest ever quarter.
Nineteen investments worth a combined £1,185,000 were completed by NEL in businesses during October, November and December 2018 from the two funds that it manages which are part of the overall £120m North East Fund Supported By The European Regional Development Fund.
The Q4 investments also took the total amount invested so far by NEL across Tyne & Wear, Durham and Northumberland from the North East Small Loan Fund and the North East Growth Capital Fund past the £2m mark.
Businesses which received investments at the back end of 2018 include North Tyneside technology firm Cleanily, Northumberland interior design business Troynorth and Rowlands Gill-based commercial fit out firm Rosebirch.
And with the enquiry rate remaining strong, NEL is continuing to encourage regional firms that want to grow and create new jobs to put their business plans and investment ideas forward.
NEL is the only fund management firm to be awarded two of the five funds that make up the overarching North East Fund.
The £9m North East Small Loan Fund typically offers loans to businesses of between £10,000 and £50,000, and 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 £18m North East Growth Capital Fund has been designed to create over 800 jobs in more than 70 regional firms over life of the fund, and offers unsecured investments of up to £500,000 to established businesses looking to realise their growth potential.
Dr Yvonne Gale, chief executive at NEL Fund Managers, says: “The response to both funds has been encouraging since they went live, but we saw a real increase in demand in the final quarter of 2018 and our team has been working flat out to get as many investments finalised as possible.
“Enquiries have been coming in from right across our investment area, and applications to the Small Loan Fund in particular have reflected the wide diversity of the North East business community.
“Our investments are already having a direct impact on the capacity of the businesses with which we work to grow and create new jobs, but there’s still a lot more we can do.
“North East entrepreneurs are clearly committed to putting development plans into action for their businesses by accessing the capital they need to take them forward, and we’re expecting to continue building on the momentum created at the back end of last year during 2019 and beyond.”
The overarching 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.