Lord O'Neill chaired Northern Gritstone to begin investing into university spin-outs across the North

A new investment company founded by former Treasury minister Lord Jim O’Neill is to begin deploying capital in the next few weeks.

Northern Gritstone will be focused on university spin-outs in the north of England and has announced a first close of £215m having seen strong interest from investors in its proposition.

The company, chaired by Lord O’Neill and led by Chief Executive Duncan Johnson has attracted funding commitments from a broad and diverse base of investors encompassing local authority pension funds, high net worth individuals, institutional investors and real estate investors active in the tech and science ecosystem of the region.

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These include Greater Manchester Pension Fund, West Yorkshire Pension Fund, M&G, Columbia Threadneedle, Lansdowne Partners, Bruntwood and Greater Manchester Combined Authority as well as Andrew Law, the CEO of Caxton Associates, and Keith Breslauer, Managing Director and founder of Patron Capital, both in a personal

Lord Jim O'Neill

capacity.

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Northern Gritstone plans to begin making its initial investments in businesses located in the North. Having launched in July 2021, Northern Gritstone was founded by the Universities of Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield to support the commercialisation of science and IP-rich businesses.

Lord O’Neill said: “The strong endorsement of Northern Gritstone we’ve seen from investors is testament to the huge scale of the opportunity in northern England’s world class science and innovation hubs and the spin outs they are producing. By investing in Northern Gritstone, asset managers are directly buying into the brightest prospects for Britain’s future economy.”

Mr Johnson said: “There is rightly huge excitement about the innovative, science-led spin outs emerging from our leading research universities and the ecosystems they support, and this has been reflected in our conversations with investors so far.”