North East Business investment fund receives £17 million boost
Businesses in the North East are set to benefit from an additional £17 million after an EU investment cash programme was given a boost. The JEREMIE programme, also called the Finance for Business North East fund, has received a top up so that it can continue investing in the fastest-growing businesses in the North East until the end of 2016.
The programme was established by North East Finance in 2010 to drive economic growth in the North East; it is made up of a suite of seven investment funds.
With new funds entering the programme, it is anticipated that 100 SMEs in the region will benefit from the cash injection in the next nine months. The programme has received a contribution of £4.5 million from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (NELEP), and this was added to the returns from previous funds in the region.
The total amount was matched by the European Investment Bank, which has forwarded a loan of £8.5 million. This is over and above the £60 million that has been committed to the programme already.
Out of the £17 million funding, the programme will invest £9 million solely in the seven local authority districts where NELEP operates. The remaining funds will be given to other companies in North East England, including those in the Tees Valley region.
Commenting on the programme, NELEP Chair, Andrew Hodgson, said: “The JEREMIE programme offers an opportunity for the region’s entrepreneurs to access vital finance to start up or grow their businesses. This closely aligns with the goal in our strategic economic plan to create business growth and we are delighted to support this extension.”
North East Finance Chief Executive, Andrew Mitchell, said that the additional funds will let local fund managers continue investing in SMEs operating in the region.
Since its launch, the JEREMIE programme has provided investment to 850 companies in North East England and has secured £185 million investment for the region from venture and angel investors from the UK and the rest of the world.