NWDA’s venture fund opens for business

The North West Fund, a new £185m investment vehicle for supporting enterprise, previously known as the venture capital and loan fund, officially launched on Monday.

The fund is run by North West Business Finance with support from the North West Development Agency, the European Regional Development Fund and the European Investment Bank.

Between 2010 and 2015 the fund is expected to create or safeguard 14,000 jobs and improve the economic performance of the region with an estimated GVA increase of £700m.

The North West Fund is the umbrella name for six funds that are now available to North West businesses in the form of debt, equity and quasi-equity. These funds are managed by six fund managers under contract with NWBF. The initial round of investment closes on 15 December 2015.

The six funds and fund managers are:

Name of fund

Fund committed

Fund manager

Development Capital


YFM Private Equity

Business Loan


FW Capital Ltd

Venture Capital


Enterprise Ventures Ltd



Spark Impact Ltd

Energy & Environmental


CT Investment Partners LLP

Digital & Creative


AXM Venture Capital Ltd

Total £170m

The North West Fund is made up of a £92.4m ERDF grant, making it the biggest ERDF project of the 2007-13 programme, and a £92.4m loan from the EIB. In addition to this funding, the six fund managers appointed, have been targeted with securing over £200m of co-investment capital from finance 'angels', banks, pension funds, venture capital, private equity investors, and other private funds. The NWDA expects this to generate total funding in excess of £400m.

In total, the fund managers will operate 13 offices across the Northwest and, at peak, are expected to employ 48 professional staff based in the region focused on deploying and managing The North West Fund.

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By Nigel Bruce


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