JEREMIE programme extended for North East SMEs

As leading corporate finance advisers we are delighted to see that additional funds have been secured and this will make a significant difference to businesses in the region.

Angus Allan, our award winning corporate finance partner said, “we have worked with all the fund managers associated with the JEREMIE programme for a few years now and have seen the results first hand.  We were recently involved in an event that showcased success stories.  Business owners have been able to grow, develop, expand and invest in a range of areas in order to take their business forward.  This has been made possible by investment and support from JEREMIE. 

He added,” this programme is a key part of the region and this is fantastic news, we look forward to more great results”.

The Finance for Business North East (FBNE) fund – also known as the JEREMIE programme - has secured a £17m top up to enable it to continue investing in the region’s fastest growing businesses through to the end of this year.

The programme, established by North East Finance in 2010, anticipates investing the new money in well over 100 of the region’s most ambitious SMEs during the next nine months.

Sources of funding include a £4.5m contribution from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (NELEP) and returns from earlier funds in the region; this has been matched by the European Investment Bank, with a further loan of £8.5m, on top of the £60m + committed to the programme so far.  Of this additional funding, £9m will be invested exclusively within the seven local authority districts covered by the North East LEP, and the remainder will be available to companies across the North East including the Tees Valley region.

Since its launch, FBNE has provided vital investment to 850 North East companies - safeguarding or creating more than 6,000 jobs and securing a further £185m of investment into the region from business angels and venture investors across the UK and globally.

Andrew Hodgson, North East LEP Chair, said: “The JEREMIE programme offers an opportunity for the region’s entrepreneurs to access vital finance to start up or grow their businesses.  This closely aligns with the goal in our strategic economic plan to create business growth and we are delighted to support this extension.”

Andrew Mitchell, chief executive of North East Finance – which oversees the current fund – commented: “We are delighted that the North East LEP and other funders recognise the achievements of the fund and the valuable support this finance plays in supporting the growth of local companies, underpinning the wellbeing of the regional economy.  This additional finance will allow local fund managers to continue to invest in SMEs around the region.

“The further loan from the EIB has demonstrated their confidence in local delivery and this top up will allow the North East LEP time to establish a new ring-fenced fund of £120m to invest in the area’s SMEs through to 2021 – as agreed with the Chancellor  last year.”

Stephen Lightly, chief executive of North East Access to Finance, which looks after legacy returns from earlier funds active in the region said: ”I am delighted that legacy monies have been able to make a significant contribution to the extension of the North East JEREMIE fund.  It is great news that there will be continuity of investment finance vital for local SMEs and the fact that we can recycle money from earlier programmes shows that these funds really do create long term benefits for the North East.”

ENDS

For more information about the funds please visit www.northeastfinance.org

Photo caption – Andrew Mitchell of North East Finance with Michelle Rainbow of the North East LEP

Notes to editors:

About North East Finance and the Finance for Business North East (or JEREMIE) Fund

North East Finance (NEF) is the holding fund manager of the £159.5m Finance for Business North East (FBNE) programme: a suite of seven venture capital and loan funds which NEF established in 2010.  The funds, which provide investment for start-up and growing businesses in the North East of England, will continue investing until 2016 and aim to support 950 companies and to create or safeguard 10,000 jobs.

NEF oversees the delivery of the seven funds, each of which is managed by an independent, FCA-regulated fund management company. Details of these, and up to date information on the progress of the FBNE programme, is available on NEF’s website: www.northeastfinance.org. As well as providing funding options to businesses finding it difficult to access mainstream finance in the current economic climate, the FBNE programme aims to help stimulate new business creation, private investment in business and entrepreneurialism in the North East.

The FBNE programme is funded by the North East of England European Regional Development Fund programme, the European Investment Bank and the UK government.  It was established under the JEREMIE initiative: a joint initiative of the European Commission and the European Investment Bank which stands for Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises.

The Chief Executive of North East Finance is Andrew Mitchell and the organization has an Advisory Board which includes highly experienced venture capital and finance professionals from across the UK.

Contacts:

North East Finance

Andrew Mitchell, Chief Executive                                                      0191 211 2300

[email protected]

NEF’s PR agency: MHW PR Ltd, Wayne Halton                              0191 233 1300

[email protected]

About the European Regional Development Fund:

The Accelerator Fund and Proof of Concept Fund is part of the Finance for Business North East project – which is part financed by the North East of England European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit: www.gov.uk/browse/business/funding-debt/european-regional-development-funding

Contact:

Alison Laggan, ERDF Communications Adviser                               0303 444 6460

[email protected]

North East Access to Finance Limited

North East Access to Finance Limited is the parent company for Finance for Business North East and a number of other subsidiaries, transferred to it by One North East, which house the legacies created from previous historical funds. The Chairman is Geoff Hodgson and the Chief Executive Officer is Stephen Lightley.

North East Access to Finance Limited and North East Finance (Holdco) Limited were both set up by One North East and, on a day to day basis, the two companies operate independently of one another. North East Access to Finance Limited has no operational involvement in the management of Finance for Business North East. North East Access to Finance Limited has responsibility for the management and redeployment of the legacy from public sector investment funds.

 North East Access to Finance Limited and the Regional Legacy

‘Legacy’ is the term used for the financial returns generated from investments made in the past in regional SMEs.

North East Access to Finance Limited was established to separate the strategic role of managing and redeploying the legacy from the day to day management and operation of the current Finance for Business North East. It works with regional stakeholders in planning the creation of new funds, funded by the legacy from the existing and historical legacy and new sources of finance.

North East Access to Finance Limited is the custodian of legacy monies from a number of historical North East investment funds, funded by ERDF and Single Programme monies over the last 13 years, which could be worth some £30m by 2017.  In the longer term, it will be the recipient of the legacy to be created from investments made by Finance for Business North East. This legacy will not be available until the end of this decade but could be of the order of £80m.