SWRDA initiative appoints fund managers


A £10 million investment fund to help south west businesses has announced the appointment of new fund managers.

The South West Loans Fund, which was set up by the South West Regional Development Agency (SWRDA) in April, has named SWIG (South West Investment Group) Services and Finance Cornwall Fund Managers Ltd as its permanent Fund Managers.

The appointments follow an interim six-month arrangement which saw the Fund managed by YFM Group. The new contracts will last until December 2015.

SWIG Services will manage small loans of up to £50k, and Finance Cornwall Fund Managers will manage loans from £50k up to £250k, under the brand name Ascendant Ventures.

Stephen Peacock, executive director of enterprise and innovation at SWRDA, said: “We’re delighted to have appointed such experienced regional fund managers to help viable businesses access investment through the South West Loans Fund. Securing growth finance is still an issue for many businesses and we hope that having two fund managers will accelerate the pace of investment.”

The South West Loans Fund is overseen by South West Investment Group (Capital) Ltd whose executive director John Berry added: “The fund continues to see strong demand with over £1m of investment now approved for a range of businesses across the South West. I would like to thank YFM Group for their excellent work in getting everything up and running so well.”

The South West Loans Fund is funded by the RDA (£3.75m) and the European Regional Development Fund through the ERDF Convergence Programme in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (£3.75m) and the ERDF Competiveness Programme for the rest of the region (£2.5m). It delivers two of the government-funded Solutions for Business products: ‘Small Loans for Business’ and ‘Finance for Business’ loans for the whole of the South West of England.