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Finance Yorkshire secures £5m extension fund

Finance Yorkshire’s successful investment fund has been extended following an injection of fresh capital from two of the region’s Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). 

Funding totalling £5m has been allocated to Finance Yorkshire by the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (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 £452 million and attract a further £286 million from private sector sources. Finance Yorkshire investment has helped those SMEs to create and safeguard more than 13,400 jobs in the region. 

The new funding support from the two LEPs enables regional investment activity to be managed by Finance Yorkshire up until the introduction of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund. 

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.” 

Finance Yorkshire chief executive Alex McWhirter, pictured, 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.” 

Roger Marsh, chairman of the Leeds City Region LEP, said: “Our significant contribution to the Finance Yorkshire extension fund is a clear demonstration of our commitment to work with partners in supporting SMEs to access finance to grow and prosper. The investments made from the fund will be invaluable, enabling regional businesses to enjoy further growth, create jobs and contribute to the economic success of the Leeds City Region.” 

Sir Nigel Knowles, chairman of the Sheffield City Region LEP, said: “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.” 

Finance Yorkshire provides seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments to help a range of small and medium sized businesses to meet their funding requirements for growth and development. 

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