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Fund backs Aquaform Entrepreneurs

Published: 5th August 2002

South Yorkshire Investment Fund has provided cash funding to a start-up company specialising in the maintenance of boilers, air conditioners and refrigerators.

The Fund has provided a £30,000 unsecured loan - matching similar funding from HSBC - to help launch Aquaform (www.aquaform.co.uk), a new business set up by Barry Rushworth and Rob Pickering.

The company, based in Rotherham, offers a range of services including the manufacture and sale of water softeners and steam generators. Mr Rushworth said: "We are very excited to have won the backing of South Yorkshire Investment Fund and are grateful for their help in putting in place the funding we need to launch the new business".

"We believe we have put in place all the building blocks for creating a very successful business providing a wide range of services and creating new jobs in the area."

The deal is one of several recently completed by the Fund that has signalled its strong appetite for backing 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.

A unique feature of the Fund is its Mentorbank project, which provides subsidised mentoring support to help management teams grow their businesses more profitably.

Tony Goulbourn, Chief Executive of South Yorkshire Investment Fund Ltd said: "This is an opportunity to support a new South Yorkshire-based business whose activities combine new, electronic-based products with traditional activities in the installation and maintenance of air conditioning and central heating facilities."

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 relocate into South Yorkshire it should call South Yorkshire Investment Fund first.

Tony Goulbourn, 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. 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."

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).