A fund set up to help small and medium sized firms in the north west has already invested half of its cash to boost local business.
The North West Fund is split into six cash pots, all of which have been financed with European funding.
Since December 2010 it has invested £79m and supported 235 businesses in the area, safeguarding more than 2000 jobs according to bosses.
Cliff Maylor, chief executive of North West Business Finance, which manages The North West Fund, said: “We hope that The Fund’s strong investment performance sends out a positive message to entrepreneurs across the region.
“Although the economic environment remains challenging, we believe that business confidence is building and the appetite for growth is impressive. We are extremely pleased to have invested over half of our capital, but we know there is still a lot of work to do over the next two years of this investment cycle.
“We anticipate reaching the £100 million investment mark in August this year and although we are confident we will achieve this, we would encourage all business owners in the region to think about their growth plans and speak to their advisers or contact our fund managers directly.
“We look forward to making investments into new and existing businesses throughout 2014 and into next year as we approach the end of this programme and begin to look ahead to future programmes.”
The current pots of cash are primarily aimed at the creative, digital, energy and environmental sectors.
Recent investments have included The North West Fund for Digital & Creatives’ investment into RealityMine, a Manchester-based developer.