Paul Taberner (L) & Julian Viggars (R)
Work has already begun to assess applications to the £400m Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) from companies across the Northern Powerhouse region.
Enterprise Ventures, which has been appointed to manage NPIF Debt and Equity funds in the region has received dozens of enquiries in the three weeks since the launch. These new enquiries are in addition to the pipeline of companies it had already identified and so the team anticipates making the first investment from the funds over the coming weeks.
It says the £108.5m it is investing will ‘make a significant impact’ on the regional economy over the next five years. These deals will attract over £220m in private sector investment which is anticipated to generate around 1,800 jobs. Enterprise Ventures will be working closely with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), Growth Hubs and advisers across the region and is seeking applications from growth-orientated SMEs from all sectors.
Enterprise Ventures is managing a £57.5m NPIF Equity fund, which will provide finance of up to £2m for businesses in Yorkshire, the Humber and Tees Valley and a £51m NPIF Debt fund, which offers loans of £100,000 to £750,000 to SMEs in Yorkshire and the Humber.
Enterprise Ventures is part of Mercia Technologies PLC. Its NPIF teams will be led by Fund Managers, Julian Viggars, Will Clark and Paul Taberner. A team of more than 20 investment professionals and support staff who are based around the region, with offices in Sheffield, Leeds, Teesside and Hull will ensure a strong foot print across the local geographies. Paul Taberner said the new funds were closely aligned with Mercia’s strategic aim to invest in the UK’s under-served regions, supporting the next generation of high-growth businesses.
“We are delighted to have been selected to manage these two key NPIF funds, which will play a leading role in the development of innovative businesses,” he said.
“Our team is highly experienced and is well known to many in the regional business community and has expertise across the full range of industries. We have a strong track record of supporting companies with high growth potential and have delivered several notable successes for similar funds, including York-based Optibiotix Health plc and Rotherham-based Xeros Technology Group plc, Harrogate Spring Water and global award-winning Panache Lingerie. We look forward to working with the British Business Bank and other partners to identify and support new rising stars in the region.”
Grant Peggie, Director of Venture Capital Solutions at British Business Bank, said: “The number of companies to have already made enquiries about accessing these funds is testament to the enormous untapped potential across the North. Funding small businesses is more important than ever before and ensuring the right Fund Managers are in place to deliver this is crucial.
“Enterprise Ventures has demonstrated the experience and expertise needed to ensure this fund works for everyone. In particular, the firm’s experience across Yorkshire and the Humber gives us great confidence in its ability to make a real difference to SMEs. The North is already home to a diverse, dynamic and thriving economy – in partnership with our fund managers we can ensure this £400m will help the North go even further.”
For more information about Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, please visit www.npif.co.uk or speak to your local Growth Hub.
The project is supported financially by the European Union. Attracting investment 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.