Alex McWhirter, chief executive of Finance Yorkshire.
Investments by Finance Yorkshire have created or safeguarded more than 16,000 jobs throughout the region, according to new figures.
Since it launched seven years ago, the SME funder has invested money into more than 500 SMEs across Yorkshire and the Humber.
The figures show that Finance Yorkshire’s investments have enabled those companies to increase their turnover by a total of £474m and attract a further £362m from other private sector sources.
The Finance Yorkshire fund achieved its full investment of £113m last year.
It was originally developed as a Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises (JEREMIE) initiative, capitalised by grants from the UK Government, European Regional Development Fund and debt finance from the European Investment Bank (EIB).
In addition to achieving its investment targets, Finance Yorkshire has now fully repaid its debt finance.
Future returns from investments will now be used to create a legacy fund for future investment into the region.
James Newman, chairman of Finance Yorkshire, said: “These figures demonstrate that Finance Yorkshire has more than delivered on its original brief to support SMEs and create jobs and economic growth.
“I am immensely proud of our team that has made this happen over the past seven years.
“Through their hard work and diligence, we have made hundreds of investments that have led to more employment and boosted the economic future of the region.”
Alex McWhirter, chief executive of Finance Yorkshire, added: “These economic output figures demonstrate the success of the Fund and its performance in surpassing all expectations when we launched it in 2010.
“At that time, we started with a £90m fund and over the course of our investment period, because of our success, we were able to secure an additional 30% funding to invest for the benefit of the region’s SMEs.”
One company to benefit from Finance Yorkshire investment is Specialised Laser Products which employs 29 people at its Ford Park premises in Rotherham.
A funding package including a £75,000 Business Loan from Finance Yorkshire enabled the company to purchase the premises which it had been leasing, securing the future of the business and jobs in Rotherham.
Specialised Laser Products – established by managing director Duncan Proctor more than 20 years ago – provides laser and flame cutting, bending, folding and machining services for a wide range of industries and has more than 500 clients across the UK.
The Finance Yorkshire fund has also received finance from the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) and latterly from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Sheffield City Region LEP, backed by their respective Combined Authorities.
Finance Yorkshire is now exploring future investment opportunities to utilise its legacy fund.
Alex McWhirter concluded: “There is still considerable unmet demand from SMEs for investment support to enable their businesses to grow and prosper.
“We are keen to look at what investment opportunities there are available to continue to facilitate the success of companies across Yorkshire and the Humber.”
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