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Established firms urged to beat North West Fund December deadline

ESTABLISHED businesses throughout the region have benefited from more than £51m of investment since 2011 thanks to The North West Fund for Loans Plus, creating or safeguarding more than 1,700 jobs.

But fund manager FW Capital boss Gary Guest is enouraging more businesses to apply for cash before its initial investment period is ends in December.

There arefunds left to invest, particularly on Merseyside, Guest wants more companies to contact his team to explore the options open to them.

FW Capital has lent upwards of £35m to nearly 200 businesses in the region, attracting an additional £16m of private sector investment.

Guest said: “This is a significant milestone both for the businesses we’ve invested in as well as the economy of the North West. We’ve met some hard-working and successful business owners in every county of the North West over the last 5 years.

“Our loans are providing these business owners with the backing they need to build and expand their businesses. These businesses are already making a significant contribution to the region’s prosperity and I’m confident they’ll continue playing a key role in its future growth.”

The North West Fund for Loans Plus can lend between £50,000 and £750,000 to established SMEs in a range of sectors across the North West to help with a wide range of growth funding challenges. The Fund is part of the £155m North West Fund, which is backed by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Investment Bank.

Examples include North West Marble & Granite which has boosted its team to 35.

With a growing customer list that includes well-known high-street brands and major house builders, the compnay has used loans totalling £300,000 from The North West Fund for Loans Plus to fund its continued expansion.

The loans have enabled the Manchester-based company to buy new stock and equipment, take on new staff and fit out a new showroom.

Finance director Dot Jones explained: “The funding package we received from The North West Fund for Loans Plus was a lifeline for our business, securing the jobs of our existing staff.”

Another example is Intelling Group’s creation of more than 290 jobs.

Intelling Group is a digital marketing and contact centre business and has created 290 jobs at its Wythenshawe headquarters since receiving a £500,000 funding package from The Greater Manchester Loan Fund and The North West Fund for Loans Plus in 2013.

Group managing director Phil Morgan said: “Intelling has grown significantly in a short period of time with the backing of the loan from The North West Fund for Loans Plus. We’ve created over 290 new career opportunities within the business in that time, ranging from apprenticeships to senior executive positions.”

With its initial investment period ending in December this year and with funds left to invest, particularly on Merseyside, Guest is encouraging more businesses to contact his team to understand the options open to them.

The North West Fund for Loans Plus was established to provide SMEs like North West Marble & Granite and Intelling with long-term growth capital and we’ve seen some real success stories: 24 of the businesses we’ve backed have exceeded their financial expectations and repaid early, while our star performers’ turnovers have doubled or even tripled.”