News

Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund completes first £2m investment into fast-growing IT firm

One of the North’s fastest growing small tech firms has received £2.0million funding from NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, to allow it to continue its rapid growth.

This significant investment marks the single largest investment to date since the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund was launched in February last year.

Sheffield based Azzure IT helps organisations throughout the UK, ranging from SME’s to larger not for profit enterprises, to transform productivity and enhance growth by implementing the next generation of smart business applications in the form of Microsoft Dynamics solutions.

The funding will enable Azzure to strengthen its management team, recruit additional implementation consultants and expand sales and marketing operations. Overall this will create around 12 new jobs over the year ahead.

Founded in 2011, by Craig and Sharon Such, Azzure IT has achieved significant growth over the years and now employs 57 people. The company’s growth and commitment to excellence has resulted in multiple industry awards and accreditations. Azzure IT was one of the first UK software vendors to achieve the ISO 9001:2015 quality accreditation and is ranked 29th in the Northern Tech 100 league.

The company has also been listed in the Deloitte Tech Fast500 EMEA over the past three years and was recently recognised in the Financial Times 1000 list of the fastest growing companies in Europe, coming in at 200th place.

Will Clark, Joint Fund Manager of NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, said: Azzure IT’s success is due to its focus on service, quality and the ability to deliver real-world solutions to meet its clients’ challenges. Founded in the last economic downturn, the company itself used technology to take on emerging market challenges and to thrive and grow. Its goal is to support other growing businesses to achieve digital transformation. The funding will allow the business to scale up to meet growing demand and create 12 new jobs in Yorkshire.”

Ken Cooper, Managing Director at British Business Bank, said: Providing investment for innovative, high-growth companies such as Azzure, is what we set out to achieve when we launched the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund last year. This deal, which is the largest to date, highlights the range of support provided by our fund managers and demonstrates the existence of potentially world beating companies in Sheffield.  The fund will be supporting many other similar opportunities across the Northern Powerhouse region.”

Neil MacDonald of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership said: “This sort of project is exactly why we’ve invested in NPIF and the British Business Bank. This is all part of our wider package of funding to support business across the Sheffield City Region. The ‘let’s get it done’ work-ethic in Sheffield City Region harnesses drive and ambition. With everyone pulling together, and a significant sense of community, we are achieving transformation and building a thriving economy. This is helping to attract, retain and develop skills in the region which are so important for the SCR’s sustainable growth.”

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

ENDS

Press contacts

For further information, contact:

Jen Lau
Marketing & PR Executive
Mercia Technologies PLC

+44 (0) 330 223 1430

+44 (0) 794 093 8488

jen.lau@merciatech.co.uk

Pauline Rawsterne
PR Agent
Turquoise PR

T: +44 (0) 161 860 6063
M: +44 (0) 780 163 9816

E:  pauline@turquoisepr.co.uk

 

About Mercia Fund Managers

Mercia Fund Managers provides both equity and debt finance to small businesses based in the UK regions. The Group has more than 300 businesses in its portfolio, a strong record including 11 IPOs and manages in excess of £350.0milllion of third party funds, including Mercia EIS Funds.

  • Mercia Fund Management Limited is authorised and regulated by the FCA under firm reference number 524856
  • Enterprise Ventures Limited is authorised and regulated by the FCA under firm reference number 183363
  • EV Business Loans Limited is authorised and regulated by the FCA under firm reference number 443560

For further information about the Group’s parent company, Mercia Technologies PLC, contact:

Buchanan
Financial PR Advisors
Bobby Morse, Victoria Hayns, Chris Lane, Stephanie Watson

www.buchanan.uk.com

+44 (0) 207 466 5000

About The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund

  • The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund will invest in Microfinance, Business Loans and Equity Finance sub-funds which will offer financing ranging from £25,000 to £2m, specifically to help small and medium sized businesses secure the funding they need for growth and development.
  • The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is operated by British Business Financial Services Limited, wholly owned by British Business Bank, the UK’s national economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity.
  • The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the European Investment Bank, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and British Business Finance Limited, a British Business Bank group company.
  • The NPIF covers the following LEP areas: Tees Valley Combined Authority, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Warrington, Cumbria, Liverpool City Region, Lancashire, Humber, Leeds City Region, Sheffield City Region, York, North Yorkshire and East Riding
  • The project is receiving up to £140,359,192 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.
  • The funds in which Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund invests are open to businesses with material operations, or planning to open material operations, in, Yorkshire and the Humber, the North West and Tees Valley.
  • The British Business Bank has published the Business Finance Guide (in partnership with the ICAEW, and a further 21 business and finance organisations). The guide, which impartially sets out the range finance options available to businesses and provides links to support available at a regional level, is available at thebusinessfinanceguide.co.uk/bbb