Cash on offer for ex-pit villages

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COMPANIES in the former pit villages of east Durham are being urged to bid for funds.

The Coalfields Funds offer sums of between £40,000 and £1m to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).

The investment, which is in the form of equity funding, can be used to support start-up businesses and early stage businesses, provide growth capital for more established companies, as well as funding mergers, acquisitions and management buy–outs.

Applications are open to companies situated in the former Durham and Northumberland coalfields areas, including Peterlee.

The Coalfields Funds were established in 2004 to support the growth of businesses and encourage entrepreneurship in the former English coalfields regions and, so far, have made 28 investments.

The funds are managed by venture and growth capital fund manager EV.

Paul Betts, investment manager with EV, said: “At a time when many companies are struggling to find funding, we want businesses within these areas to be aware that the Coalfields Funds can offer finance for growth and are actively seeking to invest.

“We are on the lookout for sound businesses with a solid growth plan and can offer funding for a wide range of purposes. We will also work with the management team, offering support and guidance to ensure the business achieves its full potential.”

For further details log on to www.coalfieldsfunds.co.uk.