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Published 3rd May 2011

Riverside Stadium credit: Mike Kipling

The biggest business support event in Tees Valley in 2011 is set to take place at Middlesbrough Football Club this month.

North East Finance (NEF), which manages the region’s £125m Finance for Business North East Fund, will host Finance Forum at the Riverside Stadium on May 12 between 8.30 and 12.30.

NEF has teamed up with Tees Valley’s five local councils – Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland and Stockton – to host the event with the aim of driving business growth in the area.

Finance Forum is targeted at local SMEs and aims to improve access to finance by introducing more firms to the £125m Finance for Business North East Funds.

Businesses attending the event will have an opportunity to chat to the fund managers running the six investment funds in the Finance for Business portfolio, learn more about the application process and the benefits to be gained from investment funds.

UK Steel Enterprise, the regeneration arm of Tata Steel, will also be at the event. It provides loan and equity funding up to £750,000 to new or expanding businesses (whether steel related or not) across the Tees Valley. Businesses will also be able to speak to each of the local councils involved in the event about a raft of other support services available to growing businesses.

Andrew Mitchell, chief executive of North East Finance, and Steven Catchpole of Tees Valley Unlimited are lined up as keynote speakers at the event.

Andrew Mitchell explains: “We’ve made a number of exciting investments into businesses in the Tees Valley region since we launched the funds last year.

“The idea now is to drive more deals by encouraging a greater number of businesses in the area to come forward for funding.

“To do this we need to ensure that people are aware of the opportunities and the funds relevant to them. We also need to ensure they understand the investment process and how to present their case to the fund managers.”

Steven Catchpole, from Tees Valley Unlimited, added: “One of our key roles is to encourage the development of a diverse local economy in which ambitious SMEs sit alongside our successful traditional industries.

“The Finance for Business North East Fund is vitally important in this respect. Alongside the other business support services we have on offer, the fund will underpin future growth and encourage a new generation of entrepreneurs.

“This is a great opportunity for local companies to find out more and access the support and advice they need.”

Booking and further information

Registration is free and available online:

Eventbrite - Finance Forum Registration

For additional information you can also contact Dawn Dunn at North East Finance on 0191 211 2300 or by emailing

Further information is available at


North East Finance brochure

Additional support organisations to be represented at the event

About the Finance for Business North East Fund

The £125m Finance for Business North East Fund is a suite of six investment funds aimed at driving economic growth and stimulating enterprise across the North East.

It is managed by North East Finance and is funded by money from the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) 2007-13 and regional development agency One North East. Launched in 2010, the funds will continue to invest through to 2014 with the intention of supporting over 800 businesses and creating more than 5,000 new jobs.

The £125m pot is divided into six separate funds, overseen by FSA approved fund managers, and targeted at specific sectors and businesses. They include the £15m North East Technology Fund, £7.5m North East Angel Fund, £15m North East Proof of Concept Fund, £20m North East Growth Fund, £20 North East Growth Plus Fund and £20 North East Accelerator Fund.

Useful links

Love Middlesbrough: Key Strengths - Business

Middlesbrough Business Forum

Photo credit: Riverside Stadium, Mike Kipling

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