Mercia has boosted its Yorkshire, Humber and Tees Valley team with four new appointments. Gary Whitaker, Ben Hick, Dan Thomas and Joe Staunton will provide regional businesses with loans and equity investment from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF).
Their appointment brings the total number in the Leeds-based team to 15 and follows a busy period for Mercia. In the six months to the end of September, it deployed over £14m in NPIF funding to businesses in Yorkshire, Humber and Tees Valley.
Gary Whitaker has over 40 years’ experience in banking, having previous worked with Lloyds Bank dealing with businesses across Yorkshire. He has particular expertise in manufacturing and has gained accreditation as a Manufacturing Specialist Manager.
Ben Hick trained as an accountant at PwC in London, and worked at a corporate finance practice in Manchester before joining Mercia. Dan Thomas spent a year working with stockbroker Redmayne Bentley in Leeds before joining RSM in 2016 where he qualified as a chartered accountant. Joe Staunton joins, having graduated from Durham University with a first-class honours degree in Economics.
Their appointments follow that of Andy Tyas earlier this year who has 37 years’ experience in banking and had previously worked with NatWest and RBS across Yorkshire.
Will Clark, MD of Mercia’s regional venture funds, said: “The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is having a significant impact in boosting business growth in the region. Mercia’s NPIF team has continued to back businesses throughout the pandemic and has a further £80m to invest from their funds. These new appointments will help us reach out to even more businesses and provide more funding to support the post-pandemic recovery.”
Grant Peggie, director at British Business Bank, said: “Since NPIF was launched in 2017 we’ve seen the Mercia team make a real, lasting difference to the North’s small business community, often going above and beyond to help businesses grow and innovate. I have no doubt that the growth of the Yorkshire & Humber and Tees Valley team will enable NPIF to make an even bigger impact in the region and beyond.”
The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.