The head of a multi-million pot of business cash has said he expects it to invest £35m in North West businesses this year.
Cliff Maylor, chief executive of North West Business Finance which manages the £155m North West Fund, said it had a pipeline of “high quality” investment opportunities for the coming 12 months.
It has confirmed it lent £32m to 95 businesses across the region in 2012 taking its overall lending to £43m to 146 businesses since it launched in 2010.
The fund has come under fire for failing to lend to businesses in Lancashire with just 18 investments in the county.
Mr Maylor said: “As the largest fund of its kind in the UK, The North West Fund provides an incredible opportunity for businesses in the region.
“Given the high quality of our investment pipeline we are extremely optimistic about the prospects for 2013 as a whole and we are currently anticipating investment levels of approximately £35million for the year.”
The fund is divided into six sub-funds, including the Venture Capital fund managed by Preston-headquartered Enterprise Ventures.