Tuesday, April 15, 2014

News: Finance Yorkshire continues to support SMEs

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More than £68m has been invested in SMEs by regional funding body Finance Yorkshire, new figures reveal.

Since being launched in August 2010, the amount invested to date equates to a total of 545 investments in small and medium-sized enterprises operating across Yorkshire, Humber, North and North East Lincolnshire.

Finance Yorkshire has attracted £30m investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), £15m from Yorkshire Forward's Single Programme, and £45m match funding from the European Investment Bank. It provides seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15,000 to £2m to help SMEs meet their funding requirements for growth and development.

The focus is now on working with its partners – including the region's Local Enterprise Partnerships – to support the region's SMEs and their growth plans. The chairman of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, James Newman is also chairman of Finance Yorkshire.

The new figures show Finance Yorkshire's investments have:

- created 2,782 jobs

- safeguarded 3,826 jobs

- created 32 new businesses and helped a further 326

- generated £84m in increased turnover

- leveraged £109m from the private sector

Alex McWhirter, chief executive of Finance Yorkshire, said: "These figures are a strong demonstration of the impact and value that we bring to SMEs across the Yorkshire region. In what has been a difficult couple of years, our investments have helped companies grow and maintain their competitive edge, increasing turnover, creating much-needed jobs and fuelling the regional economy.

"I'm confident our investments across a range of sectors will continue in the coming months, particularly with the upturn in the economy and a strong desire among SMEs to seek finance for growth."

Rotherham firms securing funding include AME Group Ltd, Xeros, Approved Food, Sterecycle, RediRack, S3-ID, Xiang Trading Ltd and Labfacility. Whilst Redirack and Sterecycle have since gone into administration, S3-ID was acquired by Singapore listed CSE Global in a £7m deal and Xeros has gone on to raise millions through floating on the London Stock Exchange.

A total of £1.45m has been invested in Xeros by Finance Yorkshire over three funding rounds. The Leeds University spin-out, based on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP), has developed a patented system using a unique method of special polymer beads rather than the usual large amounts of fresh water to clean clothes. Instead a small amount of water is added to loosen clothing stains and activate the beads.

McWhirter added: "Xeros is a great Yorkshire success story – an outstanding example of a technology-based company that has developed through innovation and some fantastic engineering an idea which now has huge potential to revolutionise the commercial and domestic laundry sectors.

"Xeros' success demonstrates the value of Finance Yorkshire's Seedcorn fund. We invest in early stage companies so they can grow, become successful and reach the point where, like Xeros, they can raise additional capital from the markets to fund their expansion."

Finance Yorkshire website

Images: Finance Yorkshire

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