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Business & Economy

Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund making an impact across the North

FW Capital has invested £50 million from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) into 170 businesses, creating over 600 jobs in the process.

The funding is designed to drive innovation and growth across all sectors, from digital and software to manufacturing and construction.

Finance is available for businesses of all kinds, even those with few tangible assets to lend against.

FW Capital was appointed to manage NPIF – FW Capital Debt Finance two and a half years ago, with an express remit to support businesses through two £51 million funds covering both the North West and the Tees Valley and Cumbria.

Since then it has opened office in Billingham and Penrith, swelling the number of staff to 30 across the organisation.

The NPIF fund offers loans of between £100,000 and £750,000 to commercially focussed businesses who need access to capital to realise their ambitions.

Joanne Whitfield, FW Capital fund director for Tees Valley, said: “It’s been an incredibly busy year and this £50m milestone is testament to the strength of the business community across the North and the ability of our team to deliver growth capital to SMEs.

“As ever we are here to help businesses innovate and expand as well as secure and create jobs and it’s great to see this increased take up from management teams with strong plans for the future.

“Having our local teams across the patch gives investees confidence that help is on hand – our focus is always on long-term relationships and pragmatic support and it’s nice to see this paying off.”

Fund director for Cumbria and the North West, Gary Guest, added: “Access to investment capital is always one of challenges that SMEs face and we are pleased to be able to offer flexible finance to ensure Northern businesses achieve their commercial objectives.

“It’s been a big year for FW Capital and our investees and we look forward to building on this in 2020.”

One of the companies who have benefitted from a six figure investment is Absolute Antibody. They specialise in the sequencing, engineering and recombinant production fo antibodies and offer related protein engineering services.

Nicholas Hutching, CEO of Absolute Antibody, said: “The global market for research antibodies is in excess of $2.5bn and continues to expand. We have a strong contribution to make to this and the investment will help us develop our technical lead in protein engineering and further disrupt the market.

“We are grateful to FW Capital for recognising the opportunity and all its support.”