£120m fund

£120m fund for North East businesses reaches milestone

A deal has been agreed to create a £120m fund to support the growth of hundreds of businesses in the North East.

The North East Fund – also known as “JEREMIE” – will offer firms a range of equity investments and loans to boost local growth and job creation in the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area.

After several months of intensive negotiations following the triggering of Article 50 in March last year, the final part of the deal was agreed in principle by the European Investment Bank’s (EIB) top level management committee.

The £60m loan represents a significant vote of confidence in the region.

The contribution from the EIB will form part of a £145m funding facility supported by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Despite the fund investing exclusively in the North East LEP area, it will sit alongside the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) to drive business growth right across the Northern Powerhouse.

The North East Fund will deliver funding to over 600 businesses, creating around 3,500 jobs over the life of the fund, as well as providing a legacy fund of up to £80m for further investment in the region over the next decade.

“Our project team has been working continuously with HM Treasury and the EIB behind the scenes to make this fund a reality,” said Helen Golightly, executive director for the North East LEP.

“Both have been committed to the new fund from day one and we are grateful to them for their support.

“This hugely positive decision, though still subject to contract, is a real coup for the North East and, critically, enables us to retain independence and local control over how these funds are used.”

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