People in position to spearhead multi-million pound scheme for Tees Valley jobs

LOOKING FORWARD: Fund manager Joanne Pratt, left with Chris Johnson and Nicky Atkinson
LOOKING FORWARD: Fund manager Joanne Pratt, left with Chris Johnson and Nicky Atkinson

THREE people have been appointed to spearhead a multi-million pound scheme which could bring hundreds of extra jobs to the Tees Valley.

And now the search is on to find businesses wanting to apply for finance under the new Tees Valley Catalyst Fund.

It was launched by Tees Valley Unlimited at the end of June, and the £10m project provides Tees Valley businesses with short-term finance to fund performance and warranty bonds.

The scheme is being run by FW Capital which has now appointed a team to operate the fund from a base in Billingham.

FW Capital’s fund manager, Joanne Pratt has recruited investment executives, Nicky Atkinson and Chris Johnson to make investments from the Government-backed fund.

It is expected to unlock almost £700m of additional work and support around 1,440 jobs in the Tees Valley over the next 10 years.

Joanne said: “FW Capital is pleased to be managing the innovative new Tees Valley Catalyst Fund which has the potential to make a significant impact in the Tees Valley. It’s been specifically created to provide local businesses with the financial backing they need to win new contracts.

“We’ve received significant interest in the fund since its launch and our Tees Valley team is already working on an interesting pipeline of proposals. The team is locally based at our new Billingham office and keen to work with Tees Valley businesses and their advisers.”

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) as well as larger businesses based in areas including Hartlepool can apply for short-term finance of between £100,000 and £2m to fund performance and warranty bonds.

Stephen Catchpole, managing director at Tees Valley Unlimited welcomed the new team. He said: “One of the key remits of TVU is to overcome the obstacles that restrict the development of our local companies.

“The Tees Valley Catalyst Fund is a prime example of how we are working to identify unique and innovative schemes that pro-actively help firms to grow and create new jobs.”

Businesses who want to apply for funding should call Chris Johnson on (01642) 343495, Nicky Atkinson on (01642) 343494 or visit