Posted on Tuesday 22 July 2014 by Ulster Business

Growth loan fund doles out 10m to smes

John Toner, Chairman and CEO, Williams Industrial Services with Neil McCabe, Senior Investment Manager, WhiteRock Capital Partners. The fund manager has lent £1.25m to the Mallusk company.

The company charged with managing the distribution of a small business loan fund for Invest NI has lent one fifth of the total over the last year.

Whiterock Capital Partners said a little over £10m has been drawn from the Growth Loan Fund across 32 separate projects in the 12 months to the end of March.

It approved 43 loans during the year what the fund manager describes as a “good mix of industries”. The total number of loans approved since the scheme started numbers 46.

The fund’s progress was revealed in the results of one its parent companies, Braveheart Investments.

Whiterock was established as a joint venture between Braveheart, NEL Fund Managers and Clarendon Fund Managers in 2012 to manage the Invest NI fund which administers unsecured term loans typically between £50,000 to £1m to small and medium-sized enterprises in Northern Ireland.

One of its latest loans was to Williams Industrial Services Ltd (WIS Group), a provider of process control, automation and environmental engineering solutions based in Mallusk.

It is using £1.25m from the fund to increase its levels of innovation and exports, and has created 20 new high jobs as a result to help fulfil lucrative new contracts.

“With the loan from the Growth Loan Fund, we have been able to expand into previously untapped markets across all of our operational divisions,” Group Chairman and CEO, John Toner said.

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