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Cash boost for firms in coal mining areas

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: July 03, 2012

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A SCHEME which provides growth funding for businesses in former coal mining areas is seeking applications from companies in South Derbyshire.

The Coalfields Funds offer sums of between £40,000 and £1 million to small and medium-sized businesses at all stages of their development.

The investment, which is in the form of equity funding, can be used to support start-ups and early stage businesses, provide growth capital for more established businesses, as well as funding mergers, acquisitions and management buyouts.

Applications are open to companies situated in the former South Derbyshire coalfield which includes Swadlincote, Ashby and Coalville.

However, businesses which draw their workforce from these areas may also be eligible.

Two companies from Ashby are among those which have recently benefited from the fund.

Health Safety and Engineering Consultants (HSEC), an engineering risk management consultancy, received backing to support a £2.7 million management buyout while Peopletoo, a public sector consultancy business, secured a second round of investment to support its continued growth.

The Coalfields Funds were established in 2004 to support the growth of businesses and encourage entrepreneurship across the former English coalfields regions. To date, they have made around 30 investments.

The Funds are managed by venture and growth capital fund manager EV.

Paul Betts, investment manager with EV, said: “At a time when many companies are struggling to find funding, we want businesses within these parts of Derbyshire to be aware that the Coalfields Funds can offer finance for growth and are actively seeking to invest.

“We are on the lookout for sound businesses with a solid growth plan and can offer funding for a wide range of purposes.

“We will also work with the management team, offering support and guidance to ensure the business achieves its full potential.”

More details are available by visiting www.coalfieldsfunds.co.uk

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