The South West Investment Fund has passed the £2 million investment milestone.

The Government-backed fund was launched in July by the British Business Bank to boost the supply of finance to small and medium-sized businesses throughout the south west.

The bank announced last month the fund’s first equity investment of £500k in tech-led commercial waste and recycling business Binit.

Now it has confirmed that the South West Investment Fund has also completed a range of debt funding deals from £26k up to £500k, making a total of over £2.4 million invested by the fund in south west businesses to date.

One Cornish business that has benefitted is Hungry Tomato, a publisher of soft learning books for children based in Truro. It received an £84k investment from fund manager SWIG Finance to purchase more stock and publish new books in 2024.

Led by Sharon and John Twiggs, who have significant experience in the publishing sector, the business currently employs five members of staff, with four new jobs expected to be created over the next 12 months.

Sharon Twiggs said: “This funding will help us to invest in the creative process which includes commissioning authors, artists and editors and buying in new stock.

“Without it we may have had to change our publication programme which would have slowed the pace of our growth which has been carefully planned, and it would have prevented us from hiring additional staff.”