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The investment firm behind two major North East funds has invested more than £1m in local businesses in just a few months.
NEL Fund Managers is one of the only investment houses to be awarded two of the five funds that make up the £120m North East Investment Fund.
After being given responsibility for the Small Loan Fund and the Growth Capital Fund back in April, the company has invested more than £1m in the region’s firms.
The milestone was passed when NEL invested £10,000 in Bedlington-based JNCS Business Services, through the Small Loan Fund.
The cash is being used by JNCS to improve its manufacturing process around the TorqTag device, which improves safety within the oil, gas and power industries.
Dr Yvonne Gale, chief executive at NEL Fund Managers, says: “We’re pleased with the volume of enquiries that have come in so far around investments from both these new funds, and to have got past the million pound mark within just a few months of their launch.

A man remains unconscious more than three days after he was involved in an alleged brawl outside a Wetherspoon’s pub.
The 56-year-old suffered a serious head injury during the incident at the Red Lion on Hartford Road, Bedlington, in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Emergency services arrived at the scene to find the man laying unconscious and he was taken to hospital where he remains.
Detectives arrested another 56-year-old man and a 33-year-old man in connection to this incident.
Both men have since been released under investigation.
A Northumbria Police spokesman said: “Police investigating an assault in Bedlington are appealing for witnesses to come forward.

A man is still unconscious 36 hours after an alleged brawl outside a Wetherspoon’s pub in Bedlington .
The 56-year-old suffered a serious head injury during the alleged fight, which happened outside the Red Lion on Hartford Road in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Police and paramedics arrived and the suspected victim — who was laying unconscious outside the pub — was taken to hospital for treatment.
Detectives arrested another 56-year-old man and a 33-year-old man in connection to this incident.
Both men have since been released under investigation.
A Northumbria Police spokesman said: “Police investigating an assault in Bedlington are appealing for witnesses to come forward.

This is the tear jerking moment a brother proposed at his sister’s wedding.
The heart warming moment happened at the wedding of Charlene McGhee who wanted to share her special day with her brother, Antoni Kerr, and soon-to-be sister-in-law, Rebecca Stafford.
Many brides might not want the limelight taken off them, but Charlene, of Stakeford, helped orchestrate the entire thing.
During the bouquet toss, Charlene gathered her friends at Blyth Comrades Social Club but instead of throwing it into the group, she turned around and went directly to 21-year-old Rebecca.
Moments later, Antoni appeared and got down on one knee to propose to his shell-shocked girlfriend.
Antoni, of Bedlington, said: “I was very, very nervous. I had told her mam and dad last year when I asked for permission [to marry her].

The most dangerous spots for cash point muggings and thefts in the North East have been revealed.
Newcastle comes out on top with the most crimes close to an ATM over the last decade, according to recent data.
Northumbria Police recorded 207 thefts or robberies in the city, more than a hundred more crimes than second-placed Gateshead.
The figures translate to one in every 1,432 residents suffering at the hands of thieves in the last decade.
This is particularly high compared to other large cities such as Leeds (one in 5,143), Birmingham (one in 5,459) and even London (one in 6,340).
The research compiled by MoneySuperMarket through Freedom of Information requests shows Northumbria Police is the fifth busiest force for cashpoint thefts and robberies nationwide, with 801 crimes recorded in the last decade.

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