pounds 10m fund for small businesses

A pounds 10m fund is to provide equity investment of between pounds 100,000 and pounds 600,000 for up to 30 small and medium-sized businesses in Greater Manchester, parts of Lancashire and Cheshire. The United Utilities Venture Fund is to be jointly financed by the private and public sectors and the European Community. United Utilities, the water, electricity, gas and telecoms utility, is providing pounds 4m.

Other backers include the European Regional Development Fund and the Co-operative Bank. Innvotec, the venture capital investment fund specialists, are to manage the fund. The fund will target enterprises with a technology component which are seeking support for expansion.

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