The £400m Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) has announced its first investments following its launch earlier this year.

More than £240k has been allocated to four businesses in the North West and Yorkshire by the Government programme.

Sheffield-based Blake UK, an importer and supplier of TV/AV reception and distribution products, was handed £100,000, which will be used to launch new product lines and increase stock levels.

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Red Security Solutions Limited, from Warrington, was also given £100,000 to invest in a range of new hybrid and solar powered security solutions.

Andrew Percy

Andrew Percy MP, Northern Powerhouse Minister

Leeds fire protection company Vulcan Passive Fire Systems was given £40,000, which is part of a package allowing the firm to invest in vehicles and new equipment.

AEV Limited manufactures resins, varnishes, compounds and insulating products for the electrical and electronic sectors, in Birkenhead.

It was handed an undisclosed amount to support the growth strategy, particularly outside the European Union in emerging markets.

Andrew Percy MP, Northern Powerhouse Minister, said: "More than one million businesses are already involved and foreign direct investments are up by a quarter.

northern powerhouse

"This dedicated £400m fund will help us go even further.

"As part of our Plan for Britain to create a stronger economy, it will help smaller businesses across the region.

"These first investments show how this fund is already making a great impact. It’s delivering the resources local businesses need to reach their potential."

British Business Bank chief exec Keith Morgan said: “While there is work ahead to fully unlock the potential of businesses across the Northern Powerhouse region, the announcement of these first investments shows significant momentum and is cause for great optimism.”