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No funding gap in South Yorkshire says Fund

Published: 1st July 2002

South Yorkshire Investment Fund: A bright future for South Yorkshire as the Fund comes online.

As concerns grow among South Yorkshire companies about future investment requirements, South Yorkshire Investment Fund has moved to close the funding gap with a package of loans and venture capital investments.

Funding concerns in South Yorkshire emerged last month (June) when it was revealed that Invest For Growth - the multi-million European Union Objective One grant scheme set up to back the region's businesses - has all but run out of cash.

Objective One has no plans to pump more money into the scheme to cover the gap between July and October when the next generation of funding schemes is likely to be unveiled.

However, South Yorkshire Investment Fund (the Fund) has signalled its strong appetite for back growing business in the region. The Fund offers loans of from £15,000 to £100,000 at interest rates from just 3%. There are no set-up or legal fees and no early repayment penalties.

Tony Goulbourn, Chief Executive of South Yorkshire Investment Fund Limited said: "Because we understand the nature of South Yorkshire's business community and smaller businesses in particular we are well placed to advise and invest in growing businesses.

"Like Objective One we are committed to further developing the South Yorkshire economy and helping companies grow through shrewd commercial lending. Our door is very much open and we are keen to discuss investment opportunities with entrepreneurs in the region."

The Fund offers a series of loan and equity packages structured to support businesses through critical stages of growth. From seed corn through to major expansion, the Fund will provide financial support. If a business is looking to start up, invest in new technology or equipment, enter new markets or locate into South Yorkshire it should call South Yorkshire Investment Fund.

The Fund has already supported several companies since it was launched. A unique feature of the Fund is its Mentorbank project, which provides subsidised mentoring support to help management teams grow the businesses more profitably.

Mr Goulbourn said: "We are very much committed to working in partnership with Invest for Growth and other Objective One initiatives. At the Fund we believe the more sources of cash available to South Yorkshire companies - whether through the Fund, Objective One or the high street banks - the better for South Yorkshire economy and job creation."

Editor's Notes

About South Yorkshire Investment Fund

South Yorkshire Investment Fund  provided seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15k to £2.5m, specifically to help small and medium businesses meet the gaps in funding they need for growth and development.

Created as part of the Objective 1 programme, the Fund is a private and public sector business finance provider. The European Regional Development Fund and Yorkshire Forward are investors in the Fund.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provided access to Business Angel investments from the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels and Microloans through BiG Business Loan Fund and Donbac Microloan Fund.

Finance Yorkshire has now taken on responsibility for providing gap finance in Yorkshire and the Humber.

For further details please contact Suzanne Tinkler,  on 0845 649 0000.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund Ltd is a company limited by guarantee (Registered No 3936065). South Yorkshire Investment Fund comprises three sub funds, the South Yorkshire Investment Capital Fund, the South Yorkshire Investment Development Fund, which are each managed by YFM Venture Finance Limited, and the South Yorkshire Investment Small Business Fund, which is managed by Finance South Yorkshire Ltd. YFM Venture Finance Limited (Tel 0113 294 5000) and Finance South Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 01709 386 377) are each authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provides a number of services, which are not regulated by The Financial Services Authority. These include the pilot Seedcorn Fund, BiG Business Loan Fund, Mentorbank and access to the Donbac Microloan Fund. BiG Business Loan Fund is managed by Donbac Ltd (company registration No. 01925556) and Key Fund Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 0114 242 8900).