Up to £1m for businesses in coalfield area

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Funds that helps businesses in former coal mining areas to grow is seeking applications from more companies.

The Coalfields Funds offer equity funding of between £40,000 and £1 million to small and medium-sized businesses.

The cash is available to companies in Doncaster, Rotherham and Barnsley and other parts of the former Yorkshire coal fields and can be used to support start-ups and early stage businesses, provide growth capital for more established businesses and fund mergers, acquisitions and management buy–outs.

Companies assisted by the Funds include Barnsley-based Rostra UK, which specialises in treating varicose veins and was was founded by former nurses Ian Brown and Melanie Moore in 2005.

Rostra helps hospitals and primary care trusts to manage waiting lists and can offer same-day appointments, diagnosis and treatment, where appropriate.

The company also runs Laserveins, an online service which matches patients seeking private treatment with surgeons within their area.

The Coalfields Funds were set up in 2004, are managed by venture and growth capital fund manager EV and have made 28 investments so far.

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 Yorkshire 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 information is available at www.coalfieldsfunds.co.uk.