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Business & Economy

Mercia ‘to continue investing’ in North East firms after strong 2022

A venture capital provider says it will continue to invest in the region after pumping £15 million into North East businesses last year.

Mercia Asset Management backed nearly 20 companies, with bosses highlighting “lots of opportunity” across the region.

It provided support for Wilton-based Nova Pangaea Technologies, which is developing sustainable aviation fuel, The Handbag Clinic and Melius Cyber.

Other firms included Durham-based Applied Monitoring, which is developing a scanner capable of detecting alcohol and drugs in the bloodstream, and Houghton-le-Spring video recruitment platform Shine Interview.

It also exited an earlier investment, after Consett-based electric vehicle charging firm Elmtronics was bought by Norway’s Mer.

Mercia provides funding from a range of sources, including the North East Venture Fund and the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.

Ian Wilson, who leads Mercia’s Newcastle office, said: “Venture capital plays an important role in developing the industries of the future, but with the majority of funding focused on London, the regions continue to be underserved.

“Mercia aims to address that gap.

“And after several years of investing in Newcastle, we are now seeing the results, with some of the businesses we have backed emerging as leaders in their field and attracting attention from international buyers or investors.

“Despite the economic outlook, we see lots of opportunity in the North East.

“While some of the other funders have become more risk averse, Mercia will continue to invest throughout 2023.”