County Durham

Maven Capital Partners has been appointed manager of a £20m investment fund by Business Durham, the economic development company for County Durham working on behalf of Durham County Council.

The VC and private equity firm plans to allocate between £10,000 and £2m to as many as 70 businesses based in County Durham.

Bill Kennedy, partner at Maven, said: “The fund will invest across a range of sectors, including technology and innovation, and we anticipate investing in some of the county’s most exciting new tech businesses, with around 10% of the fund intended for investment in startup and proof-of-concept businesses.

“Maven’s UK team has many years’ experience of investing in and supporting tech-focused SMEs. As part of the focus on maximising the potential for economic growth across County Durham, our local executives will look to harness the creative and innovation excellence of hubs such as NETpark and Durham University, working closely with each company in which the fund invests, to drive business growth and value creation,” he added.

Maven is expected to begin allocating the funds from May this year.

Simon Goon, managing director of Business Durham, said: “We have taken great pride in helping entrepreneurs turn bright ideas into successful businesses and I truly believe this commitment of £20m will be seen as a transformative move because access to finance has historically been a real issue for businesses in the North East.

“I have no doubt that it will go a long way to address this issue and help businesses create jobs and add to the economic prosperity to the County,” Goon concluded.

The announcement comes after Maven was appointed to manage the £57.5m Maven Equity Finance fund, part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, last month.