Friday, December 16, 2016

News: Finance Yorkshire extension secured

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Finance Yorkshire's successful investment fund has been officially extended as the Sheffield city region waits on the £400m Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF).

The Sheffield city region is set to be part of a large fund involving all Yorkshire and the Humber Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), the North West and Tees Valley. It is hoped to bring together over £400m.

The fund builds on the work of initiatives backed by European money such as Finance Yorkshire - the regional funding body that has invested over £100m into companies in Yorkshire and Humber.

The NPIF is expected to launch substantively in January 2017, slightly later than originally envisaged, and includes £162m of European Structural Funds, agreed prior to the EU referendum.

The delays to the launch of the NPIF has led to an "investment gap" and funding totalling £5m has been allocated to Finance Yorkshire by the Leeds City Region LEP and Sheffield City Region LEP, supported by their respective combined authorities. This follows the full investment of Finance Yorkshire's £113m fund in June this year.

Finance Yorkshire is now looking for new investment opportunities in companies that require gap funding to realise their growth ambitions and employ more people.

Since its inception in 2010, Finance Yorkshire has invested in more than 470 companies, enabling those businesses to increase their turnover by a total of £452m and attract a further £286m from private sector sources. Finance Yorkshire investment has helped those SMEs to create and safeguard more than 13,400 jobs in the region.

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James Newman, chairman of Finance Yorkshire, said: "The full investment of our original fund was a fantastic achievement by everyone involved at Finance Yorkshire. The investments have enabled hundreds of SMEs across a wide range of industry sectors to expand their team, invest in equipment and open up new markets.

"I'm delighted that we have been able to secure additional funding to help even more SME's and further boost the economy of our region."

Rotherham firms securing funding include AME Group Ltd, Xeros, Approved Food, Sterecycle, RediRack, S3-ID, Xiang Trading Ltd, Labfacility and Purex. 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.

Alex McWhirter, chief executive at Finance Yorkshire, said: "We know that many companies are in good shape but nonetheless find it difficult to access funding. Our investments play an important role in filling that funding gap.

"The full investment of our original fund was an exceptional achievement but we are mindful of the need to provide continued support for regional SMEs. I'm grateful to our partners in the Leeds and Sheffield City Region LEPs for working with us to secure this extension fund, which will be invested up until March 2017.

"We look forward to talking to regional businesses about their funding requirements and will continue to work closely with business advisors to highlight the investment opportunities available."

Sir Nigel Knowles, chairman of the Sheffield City Region LEP, added: "Setting up a business, increasing your company's assets and growing payroll are all times of stress for an SME. Creating pragmatic and straightforward investment opportunities that enable companies to thrive and grow is vital for the region. Finance Yorkshire will help ambitious businesses in Sheffield City Region to grow and flourish as we all work together to build a truly competitive centre of business excellence."

During the tendering for the NPIF, which also sees the Sheffield-based British Business Bank investing £50m of its own capital, Viking Fund Managers c/o Finance Yorkshire was one of the successful specialist fund managers – who will make the individual investments in smaller businesses.

Finance Yorkshire website

Images: Finance Yorkshire


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