Tech firms in Yorkshire, the Humber and Tees Valley have benefited after Mercia Fund Managers announced it has now invested more than £5 million of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund in the region.

Mercia manages part of the NPIF, which was launched in February this year and seeks to support regional entrepreneurship to create economic prosperity in the North.

It has completed more than 25 debt and equity investments with a total value of £5.7m – accounting for more than half of the total £10m NPIF investment in the North of England.

“Mercia’s team of experienced investment directors have strong connections within the business community and this has generated over 650 enquiries across the Yorkshire, Humber, and Tees Valley regions from management teams which have expressed an interest in NPIF equity and debt finance,” said Julian Viggars, NPIF equity fund manager and head of technology investments at Mercia Fund Managers.

“Working closely with our partners from the advisory community, business growth hubs, and local enterprise partnerships, we have been able to get our operations underway very quickly to ensure the funding reaches the region’s businesses without delay.

“We look forward to working with more ambitious companies seeking funding for growth.”

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Businesses which have received funding include Hull-based video advertising start-up Ash TV, Cress Systems in Darlington, which produces innovative energy storage systems for industry, Huddersfield-based business software provider Adventoris and innovative auto technology firm Libertine of Sheffield.

Ken Cooper, managing director at British Business Bank, said: “This milestone is a significant one which demonstrates that the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is succeeding in its aim to support the northern SME community with the funds needed to fuel their ambitions.

“We have seen many innovative and ambitious businesses choose NPIF as an option for finance, and we look forward to seeing many more as we approach the one-year anniversary of the fund.”

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.