Venture capital firm Foresight Group’s North East fund has received a £20m commitment from British Business Investments to invest in SMEs.
The Foresight Group North East fund issues debt and equity investments up to £5m to SMEs across any industry.
“We recognise the big impact smaller companies can make to their local areas and will continue to back excellent businesses in the region and support management’s growth plans,” said Matt Smith, partner at Foresight Group.
The fund launched in June last year with an initial £18m in cornerstone funding from Durham County Council’s Pension Fund and the Teesside Pension Fund.
To be eligible, companies must have a headquarters or “significant operations” within the North East region.
It also has a Scotland SME fund, which in January collected more than £60m from backers and saw support from British Business Investments.
Cllr Richard Bell, deputy leader and cabinet member for finance at Durham County Council, said: “It will support our commitment to ensuring the growth of our businesses, solidifying the North East as an attractive location for all, from small-scale family firms to international investors.”
The firm has offices scattered around the UK in cities including Edinburgh, Cambridge, Manchester and Nottingham, with plans to open a base in Newcastle later this year.