Fund on lookout for northern firms to invest in

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THE Business Growth Fund (BGF), which has been established to support small and medium-sized companies, plans to make eight investments across the north of England next year, it was revealed yesterday.

Andy Gregory, the regional director for BGF, confirmed that some of these deals were expected to create jobs in Yorkshire.

BGF is an independent company with capital of up to £2.5bn, which is backed by five of the UK’s main banking groups – Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS, and Standard Chartered.

A BGF spokesman said yesterday: “BGF has built a six-strong investment team over the past 12 months in the north. It has completed four deals across the north in the past eight months, and we are hoping to complete one more before the end of the calendar year.”

BGF is looking to add another three or four recruits to its team, including one Yorkshire-based team member.

The spokesman added: “While we will invest in all sectors, apart from regulated financial services and real estate, locally we have a particular interest in manufacturing, digital media and healthcare, given the strength and concentration of these sectors in the region.

“We are keen to back entrepreneurial management teams across the Yorkshire region, and there is the potential to co-invest with other equity providers and business angels.”

In June, Leeds-based Springfield Healthcare Group secured two investments with a total value of £4.4m from BGF.

A spokesman said that £2.5m of BGF’s funds would be invested into Springfield Homecare, which delivers care to elderly people in their own homes.

It was founded in Leeds in 1998 and is an approved credited provider with local councils in Leeds, Wakefield, Hull, York, North Yorkshire, and Sheffield.

The remaining £1.9m has been committed to the Seacroft Care Village.

It will be used alongside existing funds to develop a purpose-built facility in the Seacroft area of Leeds, which will provide residential, dementia and nursing care.

BGF’s Manchester-based team has also provided backing for the Mexican food chain Barburrito and pub company Wear Inns.