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Over 1,000 jobs secured as North East Growth Plus Fund reaches £20.5 million milestone

A fund for North East businesses which has invested £20.5 million and helped create or safeguard 1,016 jobs has secured another £3.75 million for 2016.

The North East Growth Plus Fund, provided by North East Finance and managed by FW Capital, was set up in 2010 to help established SMEs make a step-change in their business. The fund has supported 34 regional companies through £20.5 million of investment and has leveraged an additional £30 million private investment injecting over £50 million into the local economy.

Joanne Whitfield, FW Capital’s Fund Manager in the North East, said: “We’re delighted at FW Capital to have successfully delivered over £20 million to the North East economy through the North East Growth Plus Fund.

“The fund has had a noticeable impact across the region with great success stories including exciting North East brands like It’s All Good, large multi-service organisations such as the Pacifica Group and specialist manufacturers like TDX.

“We now have an additional £3.75 million to invest in 2016 and urge North East businesses who are looking to purchase premises or capital equipment, or who need additional working capital, to speak to us about the funding options we can offer.”

The additional £3.75 million which will take the total fund to over £24 million is part of the £17 million top up North East Finance has secured for 2016 to assist over 100 ambitious North East businesses this year .

The North East Growth Plus Fund invests between £350,000 and £1.25 million in established businesses based in the North East.

Andrew Mitchell, Chief Executive at North East Finance commented, "FW Capital, led by Joanne Whitfield, has played a major role in the success of the current investment fund. We are delighted that they will also be helping us to invest the £17m extension that we recently announced."

TDX, Manufacturing, Gateshead

TDX started as a tool making business in 1999 and diversified in to plastics (RPET) extrusion in 2006, a move that has seen turnover increase from £3 million to £21 million. The company buys recycled plastic in a semi-processed state and manufactures film to be used in the packaging industry, mainly for the food sector.

To meet a growing demand for recycled materials driven by greater regulation on landfills the company decided to expand its operations and open a third production line at their Team Valley base. Securing investment from FW Capital in 2013, TDX has now grown its workforce by 12 and developed into a market leader in R-PET film extrusion and high performance Thermoforming production tooling.

Managing Director, Mark Prinn said: “Due to a growing demand for R-PET film we were keen to ramp up our production capacity and needed to secure a bespoke funding package to support our expansion plans. After speaking with Barclays they recommended FW Capital as a potential investor working alongside the bank’s funding. Michael at FW Capital was very supportive and understood our business strategy.”

“Securing the finance in late 2013 accelerated our growth. If we had needed to generate the money from cash-flow it would have delayed our plans by 18-24 months.”

“We’re now seeing turnover up from £16m - £22m since investment and an increase in profits of 33%. Plus we have been able to invest in recruitment and have introduced a Plastics Extrusion Technician apprenticeship scheme, with the first 4 apprentices recruited in 2013 qualifying this year.”

Michael Vassallo, Senior Investment Executive at FW Capital, said: “TDX is an ambitious and successful North East business with a strong management team. Mark and his team have used a financial package from FW Capital to unlock the business’ potential creating jobs and boosting growth. The increase in market share and turnover means that it has been able to refinance the loan early and is now in a strong position to secure its long-term future.”

North East Growth Plus Fund