Greater Manchester Pension invests in River Capital

TDC Head of Operations Mark Metcalf and River Capital CEO Mark Borzomato

North West of England fund manager River Capital said it has secured a new injection of £10 million from Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF), delivered by private credit investor TDC, to further scale its North West Business Growth Loans Limited (NWBGL).

Established by River Capital in 2022, NWBGL provides an alternative form of loan finance to SMEs in the North West, complementary to more traditional sources such as banks.

River Capital said the increased funding reflects the significant demand received to date, and is in addition to the existing £8 million originally committed from cornerstone funder MSIF (Merseyside Special Investment Fund).

NWBGL loans are available to trading SMEs operating in most sectors, and can be used to support working capital, capital expenditure, acquisitions, management buyouts and other growth related activities.

Particular focus is paid to applicants who demonstrate evidence of strong social impact and positive ESG outcomes as a result of the finance.

“Since launch, over £2.2m has been provided to 10 businesses which are anticipated to create over 100 jobs as a result,” said River Capital.

“Recent SMEs supported include Shopify plus agency Velstar Limited and its acquisition of WeInfluence, and Designerwear, an e-commerce man’s fashion brand experiencing rapid expansion.

“The injection from GMPF and TDC will boost the maximum loan offering to £500k, and enable the provision of financial assistance to over 80 SMEs across the North West whilst creating in excess of 700 jobs.”

River Capital CEO Mark Borzomato said: “Since its inception, we have seen high demand for the NWBGL offering.

“We are therefore delighted to be able to secure additional funds to further support the region’s SME community and broaden the suite of funding options provided by River Capital.

“We and our investors are committed to fuelling the ambitions of the SME’s as well as driving economic growth.

“Businesses, and particularly SMEs, continue to face difficult trading conditions which have understandably made business lending more complex than ever.

“The resilience of entrepreneurs and SMEs continues to impress, but access to the vital funding they require remains a challenge.

“Alternative funds such as NWBGL remain critical to addressing this gap in the market.

“We look forward to working in close collaboration with GMPF, TDC and MSIF to make a significant positive impact in the region.”

TDC Head of Operations Mark Metcalf said: “Investment in the North West, and indeed across the North of England, remains a priority to help address historic imbalances.

“It’s great to see ambitious investors, like River Capital, helping to achieve this and driving job creation across the region, along with supporting innovative businesses and management teams.

“This latest partnership with GMPF and ourselves will help to further the work of NWBGL, ultimately supporting businesses across the North West and driving inclusive growth.”

MSIF chairman Neil Ashbridge said: “I am delighted to see the continued success of North West Business Growth Loans and the significant impact it is having in supporting ambitious SMEs across the North West region.

“The additional £10m commitment from GMPF and TDC is a tremendous vote of confidence in the fund and will allow NWBGL to expand its reach even further.

“Since MSIF made its initial cornerstone investment, we have been hugely impressed by River Capital’s ability to identify and nurture high potential companies that are creating jobs and driving growth across Liverpool City Region and beyond and we look forward to seeing this across a wider geographical scale.

“This latest investment will support dozens more entrepreneurs and management teams, helping them to accelerate their growth plans.”