The North East Fund has invested almost £1.5m in South Tyneside-based companies over the past 18 months and is looking to invest more in the area during 2020.
As part of South Tyneside Business Week (10-14 February 2020), the regional investment fund is encouraging local owner managers of start-up, scale-up and family-run companies to take advantage of the funding available if needed for growth, recruitment, product development or relocation plans.
As well as high profile organisations and those with larger premises producing innovative products for global markets, the North East Fund also works closely with smaller, more ‘traditional’ SMEs, possibly with ten employees or less, that may be based in semi-urban areas, local industrial estates or shared office accommodation.
This could include, for example, tool cutters and metal fabricators, specialist engineering firms, print and packaging suppliers, trades such as plumbing, electrics and joinery, or consultancies providing professional services. One example is Elsie’s Kitchen, a South Shields-based mobile and special occasion catering business which recently secured a loan of £25,000.
North East Fund Engagement Officer, James Holloway, explained, “South Tyneside is a fantastic place to do business given its road, rail and sea transport links, key development sites coming to fruition such as the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) and the quality of life offered by its coastal location. A common misconception of businesses considering investment finance is that they have to have multimillion pound turnovers, or be at the forefront of their industry to qualify. This is simply not the case.
“Often, it is the smaller enterprises that play an integral role in our economy and supply chain industries that receive our funding, especially in South Tyneside. Those businesses may be situated on estates such as Cleadon Lane, Middlefields, Rekendyke and Wagonway, and areas that are key to the local community for full or part-time employment. Others may be based in more modern office accommodation like Boldon and Monkton business parks.
“Wherever they are based, we’re looking to support as many South Tyneside businesses as we can including those from more traditional industries, regardless of size. We’d encourage any owner-managers in that position and looking for funding to get in touch.”
The North East Fund will be one of the exhibitors at the launch of South Tyne Business Week on Monday 10 February. James will also be holding free (drop-in) funding information sessions at Jarrow Business Centre on Monday 24 February and monthly thereafter whereby people can obtain guidance on the next steps if considering applying for investment.