NWDA announces £15m capital fund

Rachael Tinniswood

The North West Development Agency today launched a £15m transitional venture capital fund to support businesses in the region between now and next April.

The funding will act as a stopgap until details of the long-term North West Venture Capital and Loan Fund are agreed with the government.

Steve Broomhead, the NWDA's chief executive, announced the investment to the Business Finance 09 seminar in Manchester today.

He told the seminar that the £15m would plug the gap until the long-term fund, which was meant to have been made available by early this year, is in place.

He said: "A critical element of our finance portfolio is the new long-term Venture Capital and Loan Fund which is currently in development. We know a lot of people are waiting to hear about this multi-million pound fund. It is taking longer than anticipated but we have now agreed, with government, a way forward in which to progress the structure of this fund. And we are not alone – not one of the reginal venture capital funds across England has yet been launched."

The investment is backed by the European Regional Development Fund and is a combination of loan, equity, and mezzanine funding to support business growth.

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