Former Finance Director of the North East Fund, Jason Hobbs, has been appointed CEO following the planned departure of his predecessor, Andrew Mitchell.
The North East Fund is managed by North East Fund Limited (NEFL) and delivered through four specialist fund management organisations including Maven Capital Partners, NEL, Northstar Ventures and Mercia Fund Managers. It comprises of five separate funds that are available to SMEs across Northumberland, Gateshead, Durham, Sunderland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Newcastle local authorities.
Jason Hobbs previously worked with NStar and North East Finance and comes to his new role with over 15 years’ experience in the sector. His vision for North East Fund is to attract and retain additional private sector investment on a localised and region-wide level through business angels and co-investment partners. He also aims to drive returns that will enable a recycled facility to be created, maintaining investment in the region after the closure of the current fund.
Jason commented, “Despite the current period of economic uncertainty, there is still a real sense of momentum and resilience amongst SMEs and particular sectors within the region, especially those in fast-paced, developing markets like low carbon, creative tech, and digital. We want to fully support their ambitions by providing guidance and financial assistance to help them create jobs, new products and sustained business growth.”
“Together with our partner fund management organisations, North East Fund is making considerable progress and I look forward to building on our initial success and unlocking much more of the region’s business potential. We can only look forward with optimism and given that monies negotiated with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for the Fund are safe, I’m confident that we’ll see many more businesses look to us for investment and that can only be a good thing for the region’s economy.”
The North East Fund has already allocated in excess of £15m during the first ten months since its official launch in May 2018, leveraging circa £20m of additional private investment alongside the Fund’s investments.
It is anticipated that over 600 businesses will benefit from the programme over a five year period with the possible creation of 3,500 jobs and a legacy of around £80m for further regional investment.