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Julian Viggars, NPIF Equity Fund Manager and Head of Technology Investments at Mercia Fund Managers

Mercia Fund Managers, which manages part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF), is celebrating a milestone, having invested over £5m from the fund to support businesses throughout Yorkshire, the Humber and Tees Valley.

Julian Viggars, NPIF Equity Fund Manager and Head of Technology Investments at Mercia Fund Managers

Julian Viggars, NPIF Equity Fund Manager and Head of Technology Investments at Mercia Fund Managers

Since the launch of NPIF in February this year, Mercia has completed over 25 debt and equity investments with a total value of £5.7million – accounting for over half of the total £10m NPIF investment in the North of England. NPIF supports regional entrepreneurship to create economic prosperity in the North.

Businesses which have received funding from NPIF – Mercia Debt Finance include Hull-based Electric String, which provides audio-visual systems for superyachts and luxury homes; the Wakefield-based print equipment supplier Pinheiros Post Press; the healthcare provider Steps Rehabilitation and branded homewares manufacturer IC Innovations, both in Sheffield.

Meanwhile NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance has invested in businesses including Ash TV, the Hull-based video advertising start-up; Cress Systems in Darlington, which produces innovative energy storage systems for industry; Adventoris, the Huddersfield-based business software provider; and innovative auto technology firm Libertine of Sheffield.

Julian Viggars, NPIF Equity Fund Manager and Head of Technology Investments at Mercia Fund Managers, said: “Mercia’s team of experienced Investment Directors have strong connections within the business community and this has generated over 650 enquiries across the Yorkshire, Humber, and Tees Valley regions from management teams which have expressed an interest in NPIF equity and debt finance. Working closely with our partners from the advisory community, business growth hubs, and local enterprise partnerships, we have been able to get our operations underway very quickly to ensure the funding reaches the region’s businesses without delay. We look forward to working with more ambitious companies seeking funding for growth.”

Ken Cooper, Managing Director at British Business Bank, said: “This milestone is a significant one which demonstrates that the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) is succeeding in its aim to support the northern SME community with the funds needed to fuel their ambitions.  We have seen many innovative and ambitious businesses choose NPIF as an option for finance, and we look forward to seeing many more as we approach the one-year anniversary of the fund.”

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

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