News release issued by Tees Valley Unlimited
A £10m fund, backed by the Government, has been launched by
Tees Valley Unlimited to help companies bid for
work to further strengthen the local economy.
The Tees Valley Catalyst
Fund is the first of its kind anywhere in the UK and
is uniquely available to Tees Valley companies and projects.
It will enable Tees Valley companies to bid for contracts larger
than they can at present, opening up new markets and
The fund, which is backed by the Regional Growth Fund, will
provide security for performance bond guarantees. Performance bonds
provide a financial guarantee to a contractor that a supplier will
deliver on time and to standard.
The fund was launched by Lord Shipley, Deputy Chair of the RGF
Independent Advisory Pane.
He said: “I know that businesses across the Tees Valley will
welcome this fund with open arms as it will give them the
confidence to invest and create jobs for the local economy. I would
strongly encourage small and medium sized businesses to see how the
fund can support their ambitions.
“Overall the Regional Growth Fund is having a hugely positive
effect across the North East in many different sectors. We need to
keep the momentum going and work together through schemes such as
RGF and the Tees Valley Catalyst Fund so that we can continue to
grow and build a stronger economy.”
Tees Valley Unlimited, the Local Enterprise Partnership for Tees
Valley, has taken action after pinpointing that a lack of help to
provide bonds was a barrier to growth for many companies in the
It is anticipated that the Tees Valley Catalyst Fund will unlock
almost £700m of additional work and support approximately 1,440
jobs in Tees Valley during the next ten years.
It will be available for companies which create jobs in the Tees
Sandy Anderson, Tees Valley Unlimited chairman, said: “Our
engagement with Tees Valley companies has revealed that they are
often shortlisted at tender stage on technical capability; however
they lack the cash reserves needed to set up the required bond
“One of the key remits of TVU is to overcome obstacles that
prevent growth and development by local companies.
“The Tees Valley Catalyst Fund is a prime example of how Tees
Valley Unlimited is creating unique, innovative schemes to
proactively help local firms grow and generate jobs.”
George Rafferty, Chief Executive of NOF Energy, the business
development organisation for oil, gas, nuclear and offshore
renewable sectors, said: “The Tees Valley Catalyst Fund is a
pioneering initiative that will greatly benefit ambitious Tees
Valley companies, including those in the energy sector supply
“It will make a vital contribution to the ability of private
sector companies in Tees Valley to bid for significant contracts
that have the potential to bring wealth and jobs to the area.”
The fund, which will be managed by FW Capital, will be an
‘evergreen’ fund with interest and repayments on loans being
ploughed back and recycled into new lending.
Peter Wright, FW Capital’s Investment Director, said: “Many
established businesses in the Tees Valley have the capacity as well
as the technical know-how to secure new contracts, but the
financial guarantees that are often required can be a real
obstacle. Winning new contracts could significantly boost
their prospects and the Tees Valley Catalyst Fund can provide them
with the financial backing they need.”
Funding is only usually required for a relatively short period -
typically18-24 months from contract confirmation to
completion. Money is often released in staged payments by
main contractors up to final sign-off and/or release of the
Although primarily aimed at small and medium-sized businesses
(SMEs), larger companies, which may already have a bond facility in
place, will be able to access the fund to extend their existing
facility to account for significant, one-off contracts which
otherwise they may be unable to bid for.