A new chief executive officer has taken the reins of £120m investment programme, North East Fund.
Former finance director of the North East Fund, Jason Hobbs, has been appointed following the planned departure of his predecessor and acting CEO, Andrew Mitchell.
Andrew will continue working in the region on the finance for business (JEREMIE) programme, generating legacy monies estimated at £75m+ over the next five years.
Jason will now play a role in generating new and potential growth opportunities through investment, championing funding for North East companies and entrepreneurs, overseeing fund managers’ activities via the five separate investment funds.
He will also be supporting the North East Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) Strategic Economic Plan to deliver many more, better jobs.
Jason said: “Despite the current period of economic uncertainty, there is still a real sense of momentum and resilience amongst SMEs and particular sectors within the region, especially those in fast pace, developing markets like low carbon, creative tech and digital.
“We want to fully support their ambitions by providing guidance and financial assistance to help them create jobs, new products and sustained business growth.
“The North East has fantastic entrepreneurial spirit and I have taken the reins at a time when the North East Fund is backing some tremendous companies, many of which are set to become world-class innovators and leaders in their field.”
He continued: “Even though the UK is witnessing huge uncertainty due to Brexit, our fund managers are continuing to see more and more companies seeking investment, meaning that the North East Fund remains a valuable asset to enable all businesses.”
The North East Fund has already allocated in excess of £15m during the first 10 months since its official launch in May 2018, leveraging circa £20m of additional private investment alongside the Fund’s investments.
It is anticipated that over 600 businesses will benefit from the programme over a five-year period with the possible creation of 3,500 jobs and a legacy of around £80m for further regional investment.
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