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North Wales businesses show ‘increased investment appetite’

Business confidence in North Wales has been growing with more companies seeking investment. More than £7 million was invested through Finance Wales and their co-investors between April and December 2016.

Welcoming the news Economy Secretary Ken Skates said: “ Access to finance is essential for business growth and I am pleased to see businesses of all sizes across North Wales are benefiting from the range of funding options that are backed by the Welsh Government and delivered by Finance Wales. These investments are playing a key role in creating and safeguarding jobs and enabling companies to expand and maximise market opportunities as they arise.”

Deals were completed by the Welsh Government investment-arm for 37 North Wales businesses, helping to create or safeguard more than 350 jobs.

Finance Wales Senior Investment Executive Rhodri Evans said: “We’ve seen a real increase in investment appetite. We’ve received, and approved more applications for funding from across the business spectrum - from loans under £10,000 through to multimillion pound deals. There’s a lot of confidence in the business community here. So much so we’ve recently expanded our team to take on three new executives in our St Asaph office.”

Over £1 million was invested in manufacturing businesses with another £1.5 million invested in property and construction projects.

“We’ve had a lot of success selling Welsh-made parts to the white goods market,” explained Peerless Gas Managing Director Steve Crutchley. The company received a six-figure investment to buy Burnley-based Lomax Offshore Couplings (Lomax) from the Wales Business Fund before Christmas. 

There have also been deals for technology companies like cancer drug research firm BiVitriX (BVX).  Finance Wales’ recent seed co-investment in BVX will be used to fund proof of principle research for its dual-target platform, which aims to improve the accuracy of cancer treatments and minimise the side effects experienced by patients.

South Caernarfon Creameries used a follow on £750,000 loan to support their growth after winning a major contract with supermarket giant Sainsbury’s. The company are the sole supplier of Sainsbury’s basics cheese range across the UK over a four year contract.

“It’s great to see North Wales companies succeeding on a UK platform like this,” added Evans. “Companies like South Caernarfon Creameries provide a real boost to the area’s economy and the showcase the ambition of companies here.”

Michael Learmond from FSB Wales added: “Help and support is out there for businesses, but all too often those who could benefit from that support don’t know about it. That’s why organisations such as FSB Wales and Finance Wales make it a priority to engage with small businesses and do everything we can to help them grow and prosper.”