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Funding team sees £10m of enquiries in first term

A FIRST year of operation has been marked by InvestmentHub NEL, the free service provided to businesses in the Grimsby area.

Funding team sees £10m of enquiries in first term

It has also seen Anthony Winn take a step up to hub director, a new role created as a strategic advisory position, with former HSBC employee Sarah Brattan taking on the day-to-day team management role.

Mr Winn, who enjoyed a career in banking with Barclays and Handelsbanken, said: “We have taken it through the first year and we are now expanding because we are busy.

“It is evolving, we have been busy people over the first year. We have just put our annual report in to the council and we are quite happy with it.

“The first four months were spent talking to the suppliers of funding, we only really went live in November and have effectively been on the ground since December.

“In that time we have seen 56 businesses and they have been looking for funding of £8 million, which in reality will be more like £10 million as many businesses couldn’t define what they needed.”

Ian Girdley has also joined the team in order to keep the numbers right.

He has worked for HSBC for 37 years, with quite some time spent in Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire, and has known Mrs Brattan for more than 30 years.

The hub signposts businesses to funding, be it grants, commercial lending, equity share, seedcorn or mezzanine.

“We have even managed to find some business angels,” Mrs Brattan said, referring to the high street version of the televised dragons, who rarely seek publicity like their BBC counterparts.

Of the quality coming through to grow and develop, Mr Winn said: “We haven’t really seen any stragglers, and the size of business we have seen are probably bigger than we expected to.

“We have had small businesses, but a good number of what we would consider medium sized businesses. We have also worked with Business Hive, Department for International Trade, accounting and banking professionals, and done a lot of introductory work. We have also got the name out there. In all I would say we have had a very, very successful first year.”

Receiving the report, Councillor Peter Wheatley, North East Lincolnshire Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said there had been excellent progress with the investment hub so far.

“We were delighted to support the initiative when it was launched last year,”  he added.

“We have an excellent working relationship with Anthony and his colleagues and the report shows both a buoyant local economy and the positive impact this work is having on growth within the area.

“Providing local business owners with easier access to funding and finance, along with offering free and impartial advice,  is proving extremely valuable and acting as a further stimulus to both existing businesses in North East Lincolnshire and those looking to move here and take advantage of everything the area has to offer.”

So who has hit the 'Hub?'

Sector Clients Funding
Manufacturing 9 £990k
Charity/ Soc. Ent. 8 £1.54m
Service Sector 8 £145k
Leisure 7 £1.49m
Retail 7 £230k
Food 4 £1.8m
Logistics 3 £480k
Prof Services 3 £67k
IT 3 £20k
Property 2 £920k
Education 2 £350k

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