East Anglia: Funding body Finance East relaunched as Community Interest Company

THE re-launch of two regional funding bodies as a single Community Interest Company (CIC) is “good news” for the region’s firms, says its chief executive.

Finance East and Finance South East have re-launched under a single name – the FSE Group.

The company says the move will open up a range of funds and services for companies, communities and social enterprises in East Anglia.

Chief executive Sally Goodsell said the new company would have greater freedom to expand, with a “compelling combination” of local, regional and national funds and services.

“We are working with a range of local partners from both the public and private sectors to create and deliver new funding schemes to support business growth,” she said.

“At a time when fundraising is increasingly difficult, this is good news for businesses in the East of England and we look forward to seeing further investments in the region.”

The FSE Group’s team, based in Ipswich, provides a range of debt and equity growth finance solutions and support to innovative small and medium-sized businesses.

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It manages around �40million worth of funds.

The team, which three years ago was named Best Early Stage Investment Team by the British Business Angel Association (BBAA), has invested over �6m in companies in the East of England over the last three years.

Suffolk companies that have benefited from funding via the group include Bury St Edmunds-based Redd and Whyte.

FSE Group manages three funding vehicles exclusively geared to companies in the east - the East of England Regional Growth Loan Scheme, the East of England Business Angel Co-Investment Loan Scheme, and the Suffolk Investor Club (SIC).

It also offers a number of other national funding schemes which businesses in the East are eligible to apply for, including the Community Generation Fund, a national fund to support community-based renewable energy projects, and the Social Impact Co-Investment Fund which provides loans to SMEs which primarily operate with a social purpose.

The group says it will continue to work with businesses to develop their investment case and unlock funding from a range of sources.