FW Capital fund managers Gary Guest and Joanne Whitfield
The total value of investments made from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) made by fund manager FW Capital has passed the £10m mark in less than a year.
FW Capital was appointed as fund manager of NPIF when it was launched in February 2017 by British Business Bank. Since then, it has invested more than £10m across the North West and Tees Valley, in 45 small or medium-sized businesses across a broad range of sectors.
In the same period, FW Capital has opened new offices in Billingham and Penrith and recruited ten more staff. Twenty-five people now work for the fund manager across the North of England.
Fund manager Joanne Whitfield, who looks after funds across the Tees Valley, said: “Our teams have been meeting businesses across the region, finding out what they need and how this fund can support them to grow.
"Our investments are being used for many different purposes, which shows the variety and innovation of companies across our region.”
NPIF - FW Capital Debt Finance offers loans of between £100,000 and £750,000. The fund gives ambitious businesses access to the capital they need to realise their growth plans through investing in new equipment, premises, staff, systems, product lines and a wide variety of other uses.
These loans have helped dozens of other businesses across the Tees Valley, such as Darlington food manufacturer Myco Foods and Stockton engineering firm ENEX Group.
Cenergist, an energy consultancy, has also received investment from the fund. They used a £515,000 loan to set up a new Tees Valley office in Billingham and take on skilled staff as they plan to increase turnover significantly in the next 18 months through their work with major energy suppliers.
Joanne Whitfield continues: "There's been a lot of interest in the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund since its launch, and we’re delighted to have passed the £10m mark in under a year.
"We know there are many more firms out there that could benefit from our involvement and we want to help as many of them as we can to scale up, succeed and create sustainable jobs.”
Grant Peggie, director at British Business Bank, adds: “It is fantastic to see FW Capital reach this important milestone so soon after passing the £5m mark five months ago. It demonstrates the demand for funding in the northern SME community and underlines that the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is actively making a difference to small businesses in the North and supporting wider economic growth.
“We look forward to continuing our work with FW Capital and to further support more ambitious businesses in the region as we approach the fund’s one-year anniversary.”