Finance Yorkshire has fully invested its £90 million fund into companies in Yorkshire and Humber before its investment period was planned to finish.
The Fund has made 694 investments in businesses across Yorkshire and Humber, creating and safeguarding 8,716 jobs and increasing overall turnover in Yorkshire and Humber by £223 million up to this point in time.
Finance Yorkshire is the first European JEREMIE (Joint European Resources for Micro to medium Enterprise) initiative to become fully invested in England.
The Fund is backed by grants from the UK Government and European Regional Development Fund and finance from the European Investment Bank.
Alex McWhirter, chief executive of Finance Yorkshire, said: “I am delighted that we are the first JEREMIE fund to become fully invested in England.
“Despite operating in a challenging economic climate, we have exceeded our performance targets. It’s a success story of which Yorkshire and Humber can be proud.
“Many SMEs across the region have found it difficult to access finance via the traditional routes over recent years. We have been able to provide investment to fill this finance gap for many businesses, enabling them to expand and create jobs in the region.
“The Fund will now be managed through the next five years during which time it is anticipated that a significant legacy fund can be created for the region for investment back into more businesses in Yorkshire and the Humber.
“Finance Yorkshire is working with stakeholders to secure further funding to ensure there is continuity to business investment in the region during 2015 and we expect to make a further announcement on this very soon.”
James Newman, chairman of Finance Yorkshire, and chairman of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) said: “This is a significant milestone for everyone associated with the fund. Finance Yorkshire’s investments have given businesses a timely boost that has led to other private sector direct investment and more employment opportunities being created.
“With growth firmly back on the business agenda, the economic impact of this fund cannot be underestimated.
‘’It is, therefore, vital that a second JEREMIE fund is created in 2015 so that all the good work done by Finance Yorkshire is not lost and it can continue to support businesses in Yorkshire and Humber.
“I am hoping that all four of the Yorkshire and Humber LEPs will support this important initiative so we can all build on the excellent performance so far for the benefit of the region’s economy.”
In November 2014, Finance Yorkshire was named Alternative Finance Firm of the Year at the prestigious Yorkshire Dealmakers Awards, organised by Yorkshire Business Insider magazine.
Finance Yorkshire provides seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15,000 to £2m to help a range of small and medium sized businesses to meet their funding requirements for growth and development.
The project is supported financially by the European Union. It has attracted £30million investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme, £15 million from UK Government and £45 million match funding from the European Investment Bank.