Tuesday, January 19, 2016

News: Finance Yorkshire hits £100m mark

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Regional funding body, Finance Yorkshire has invested £100m fund into companies in Yorkshire and Humber having secured extra support from the Regional Growth Fund (RGF).

Originally a £90m fund, it operated three investment teams - Seedcorn Finance, Business Loans and Equity Linked Investments. It secured £45m from the European Investment Bank, together with £30m investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and £15m from the Government via Yorkshire Forward.

Finance Yorkshire is the first European JEREMIE (Joint European Resources for Micro to medium Enterprise) initiative to become fully invested in England and in 2015 it secured funding from Round Six of the Government's Regional Growth Fund (RGF) to invest in businesses across Yorkshire and the Humber.

Hitting the £100m milestone, the fund has made 792 investments in businesses, increasing overall turnover by £360m and creating and safeguarding more than 11,000 jobs.

James Newman, chairman of Finance Yorkshire, said: "The fund's investments have made a significant impact on SMEs involved in a wide range of manufacturing and service sectors, in all parts of Yorkshire and the Humber.

"Many companies have found it difficult to access funding via traditional routes making our role invaluable. SMEs are the bedrock of our regional economy, and we will continue to support them. Through our consistent support we have helped SMEs to improve competitiveness and encouraged wealth creation in the region."

More than £30m has been invested in the region's SME manufacturers with more than 200 separate investments in companies specialising in engineering, industrial products and materials. This represents 32% of Finance Yorkshire's total investments.

Alex McWhirter, chief executive of Finance Yorkshire, said: "Manufacturing has a long-established heritage across Yorkshire and Humber and our funding is helping to create sustainable growth for over 200 SMEs in the sector. The region's manufacturers are flying the flag throughout the UK and beyond, and we're passionate about helping them succeed and ensuring our rich manufacturing tradition continues to flourish."

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, Approved Food has expanded into larger premises in Sheffield and Xeros went on to raise millions through floating on the London Stock Exchange.

The Sheffield City Region (SCR) is set to be part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) – a "fund of funds" involving all Yorkshire and the Humber Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), the North West and Tees Valley. It is hoped to bring together over £400m, subject to meeting European funding requirements, and expects to appoint a number of specialist fund managers who will make the individual investments in smaller businesses from Summer 2016.

Finance Yorkshire website

Images: Finance Yorkshire

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