Page last updated at 14:19 GMT, Sunday, 24 January 2010

125m 'super fund' for businesses

A £125m investment fund has been launched in a bid to drive the economic recovery of north-east England.

It is hoped the Finance for Business North East Fund, which includes more than £100m of European cash, will help create up to 5,000 jobs.

Regional development agency One North East has contributed £18m.

The venture capital is designed to encourage the development of small and medium-sized companies, especially those in the technology sector.

It is expected to be used to support up to 850 firms.

Rosie Winterton, minister for regional economic development and co-ordination, said: "The recent economic situation has had a significant impact on the people and businesses of the North East.

"This venture capital fund is a key part of getting critical help to small and medium-sized businesses to invest in the recovery."

The European Investment Bank is committing £62.5m into the fund, with £44.25m coming from the European Regional Development Fund.



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