Funding for a £125 million “super fund” targeting development of the UK’s North East region has been led by a regional development agency, One North East, in conjunction with a European Union scheme.
The fund, which has not yet been given name, will invest in small- to mid-market businesses in the UK. Joint funding came from One North East, the European Development Fund and the European Investment Bank.
Regional development agencies like One North East form part of the UK local government system and coordinate infrastructure projects and industrial development across the regions they cover.
The fund was set up under the Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises Initiative (JEREMIE), which is a framework that was set up by the EU to use venture capital and other financial knowledge to support small businesses in Europe.
England’s North East, which includes cities such as Newcastle, Sheffield and York, is a region which is historically known for the steel and coal industry. Many factories in the region closed in the 1980s when production was capped under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
“The new JEREMIE funds represent a quantum leap in the funding which regional development agencies will be able to make available to small to medium sized enterprises,” Ronald Paterson, investment funds partner at Evershed, said in a statement.
Eversheds, which organised the fund’s structure, estimates that the fund will invest in up to 850 businesses over the next five years.