£185m North West Fund opens

The £185m North West Fund has opened and is ready to make investments. The public fund, one of the largest of its kind in Europe, is aiming to improve the region’s economic performance by an estimated £700m.

The idea for the fund was first floated more than two years ago, but it has been hit by a series of delays.

It is made up of a £92.4m European Regional Development Fund grant and a £92.4m loan from the EIB that has to be invested in North West businesses before 2015. Under EU rules 40 per cent of the funds have to be invested in companies on Merseyside.

The six fund managers – YFM Private Equity, EV, FW Capital, CT Investment Partners, Spark Impact and AXM Ventures – have also been tasked with raising additional £200m of investment capital for businesses in the region, designed to create a lasting legacy fund.

Preston-headquartered EV will manage the £30m Venture Capital Fund and the Manchester-based team at YFM Private Equity will run the £45m Development Capital Funds. FW Capital is to run the £35m Business Loan fund, Spark Impact will run the £25m Biomedical fund and AXM Ventures will operate the £15m Digital and Creative Fund.

Andy Leach, chief executive of North West Business Finance, said: “I am delighted that I can, at last, confirm that The North West Fund is open for business. Whilst it has taken longer than expected to establish, I believe that The North West Fund is now in a position to provide investment capital to a range of businesses across the region at a critical time. This funding will allow these businesses to deliver their own growth plans in, what continue to be, challenging economic times when the availability of alternative funding remains tight.

“Having worked closely with our six fund managers over recent months, I am confident that they have the requisite expertise and understanding of the region and their targeted sectors, to ensure that The North West Fund delivers an enduring legacy.”

For further details please click here to be directed to the relevant website

(Information provided by Business Insider news)