Friday, 19 April 2013

North West Fund Progress Report




The North West Fund describes itself as "a £155 million evergreen investment fund established to provide debt and equity funding to small and medium sized enterprises in the North West of England." It is said to "address an identified gap in the lending, venture capital and private equity markets." I mentioned its launch in "The North West Fund" on 21 Dec 2010 and also a presentation by its Chief Executive Officer to the Daresbury Business Breakfast in "The North West Fund: Inspiring Entrepreneurs and Financing Ambitions" on 11 May 2012.

According to James Graham, Deputy Editor, North West of The Business Desk, the fund has invested £54 million in more than 180 businesses since its launch.(see "North West Fund hits £50m milestone", 17 April 2013).  The companies in which it has invested recently include:
  • ComplianceControl of Northwich which provides electronic quality management systems that facilitate  regulatory compliance and validation in the pharmaceuticals and life sciences industries;
  • Bioxydin of Manchester Science Park which develops and applies new diagnostic imaging tools and imaging services;
  • Senselogix of Chester which develops a range of energy measurement and control products, to support the reduction of carbon emissions;
  • Molplex of Macclesfield which assists in the development of new drugs; and
  • Redtree People of Cheshire which connects clinical research professionals with pharmaceutical companies and contract research organizations.
There are a number of case studies on the Fund's website.  

That website contains two useful features: an eligibility check list which sets out the criteria for funding such as location, number of employees and industrial sector and a summary of the funds available for qualifying businesses. Helpfully, the fund also provides a business plan template for such candidates.

Most of those businesses are technology rich with an abundance of intellectual assets and it is usually the legal protection of those assets that attracts funding. Those seeking funding will require advice on company law, contracts, employment, tax and, of course, intellectual property. I can help with IP and now that I am in 4-5 Gray's Inn Square I have colleagues who can help with all these other issues. Should anyone require advice or representation on any aspect of launching a new business, please call us on 0161 850 0080 or 020 7404 5252 or fill in our contact form. Our chambers are developing a strong presence in North West England as well as London.

If you want to talk to me about this article, you can reach me through my contact form or call me on any of the above numbers. You can also follow me on Facebook, Linkedin, twitter or Xing.

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