Suffolk/Norfolk: Commons launch for business funding initiative New Anglia Capital

The New Anglia Capital board, from left, Mark Smyth (secretary), John Irving (chief executive), Harr

The New Anglia Capital board, from left, Mark Smyth (secretary), John Irving (chief executive), Harry Berry (chairman), Bill Jones, Davina Tanner and Kevin Horne - Credit: Archant

An innovative new scheme to boost access to finance for small and medium-sized firms in Suffolk and Norfolk was officially launched at the House of Commons today.

New Anglia Capital (NAC) brings together “angel” finance organisations Venta Business Finance and the Suffolk Investor Club, with the additional support of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

It aims to link new and early-stage businesses with investors, offering a range of matched-funding options to help overcome the difficulties reported by many firms in accessing finance from the banks.

The initiative has been welcomed by Business Secretary Vince Cable and MPs from around the region, with today’s launch event being hosted at the House of Commons by Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis, Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government.

NAC is being chaired by Harry Berry, chairman of the Ipswich-based Eastern Enterprise Hub, who approached New Anglia LEP chairman Andy Wood with the idea earlier this year.

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“This will be a major driver of business innovation and quality job creation in Norfolk and Suffolk,” said Mr Berry.

“It has taken us just 85 days from the first concept of setting up New Anglia Capital to the establishment of the business, which is a remarkable achievement and indicates the tremendous momentum New Anglia Capital has already achieved, with the help of its stakeholders, which include both county councils in Norfolk and Suffolk, universities, banks and professional advisory firms.”

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Dr Wood added: “The launching of New Anglia Capital will provide businesses with innovative, alternative methods of raising money for growth and innovation.

“With conventional sources of funding for good ideas increasingly scarce, this is an exciting and important driver for business growth.”

Speaking ahead of today’s launch, Mr Cable said: “One of our priorities is to kick-start business investment and increase firms’ ability to access finance.

“The Government is already taking big steps to help companies bridge that gap with the Business Bank, but schemes such as the New Anglia Capital programme will also provide a much-needed boost for the region.”

NAC will be headed by John Irving as chief executive, a role he previous held at Venta.

Investors of all sizes are being invited to attend the New Anglia LEP’s Growth! business conference on Thursday, June 13 at the Green Britain Centre in Swaffham, Norfolk, to find out more about the investment opportunities available.

An Investor Day for businesses seeking funding and angel investors it to be held at the OrbisEnergy Centre in Lowestoft on Tuesday, July 2. For details to book a place or for more information.

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