Financial growth on breakfast menu

Access to growth finance was on the menu at a breakfast forum event in Leeds earlier this week.

‘Show Me The Money’, organised by business networking group Downtown Leeds in Business, brought together a panel of finance experts to advise a range of city businesses on alternative sources of funding in the absence of traditional bank lending.

Attendees at Bruntwood’s West One heard from Melanie Hird of Seneca Partners, an independent investment body, and Simon Brereton of Leeds City Council. Richard Taylor, Senior Investment Manager in Business Growth Fund’s North of England team, completed the panel.

All three experts stressed the importance of a personal, individual approach in attracting investment, with Simon Brereton reminding the audience that “business is done by people, not corporations.”

He revealed that one of the most common errors by applicants for public funding is the trend to apply without speaking to anyone and, thus, often misunderstanding the requirements. Conversations, he told the audience, are the best way to open doors to finance.

Following the discussion, delegates had the opportunity to get individual advice and discuss their situations in greater depth.

Michael Taylor, who chaired the event, said:

The forum was a real success and we’ve had a great response from delegates, some of whom commented that having three voices from different angles of investment gave them a broader insight into the financing landscape.

Since Downtown arrived in Leeds, we’ve been overwhelmed by the positivity and opportunity we’ve encountered, and our events here will get even bigger and better as time goes on.


For more information on Downtown Leeds in Business, please visit or email

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