Foresight Group launches £40m Foresight Nottingham Fund

Foresight Group launches £40m Foresight Nottingham Fund

• An Enterprise Capital Fund targeting up to 25 dynamic growth businesses in Nottinghamshire
• Initial investments of between £100,000 and £2 million, with follow-on funding available

Foresight Group ("Foresight”) is pleased to announce the launch of the £40m Foresight Nottingham Fund ("FNF” or "the Fund”).

Based in Nottingham’s ‘Creative Quarter’, the Fund will make private equity investments on a commercial basis that will support entrepreneurial and growth businesses based in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

Foresight Nottingham Fund is an essential part of the Nottingham Growth Plan which was unveiled in July 2012 and sets out a series of measures for driving the city’s economy forward - the fruit of a collaboration between some of the city’s key public and private sector organisations, based on solid academic research, good business sense and valuable consultation. It is one of the most ambitious strategies of the UK’s Core Cities, designed to transform Nottingham’s economy and create wealth right across its communities.

The Foresight Nottingham Fund has a generalist investment mandate and will seek to leverage the region’s expertise across three powerful emerging Nottingham sectors identified in the Growth Plan, namely Life Sciences, Digital Content and Clean Technology. In addition, Foresight will target investment opportunities in sectors including; specialist engineering and manufacturing, software development, high tech services, leisure, energy efficiency and smart metering, where Foresight has a strong track record of achieving investee company growth and delivering exceptional returns to investors.

With an initial investment period of five years, FNF can complete new investments up until August 2018, with a follow-on investment period of a further five years until August 2023. Foresight will aim to complete approximately 25 investments during the initial investment period, primarily into companies that demonstrate strong growth characteristics and will thereby promote sustainable job creation throughout the region. The Fund will invest between £100,000 and £2 million, with additional follow-on funding available if required.

The Fund has just completed its first investment of £1.75 million into the Management Buy Out ("MBO”) by the senior management team of Positive Outcomes Limited, a multi-million pound work-based learning business. Founded in 1997, Positive Outcomes provides apprenticeships to over 3,500 people, of which more than 50% are based in East Midlands, with a particular focus on the 16-18 age group through its innovative scheme "Paid to Learn”. As a condition of the Fund’s investment, Positive Outcomes will be relocating back to Nottinghamshire, where the company was founded, bringing 100 jobs to the region and many more thereafter as the company grows and thrives.

FNF is an Enterprise Capital Fund, backed by Capital for Enterprise and the Nottinghamshire Local Government Pension Scheme amongst other institutional and private investors.

The Rt Hon. Greg Clark MP, Minister of State for Cities, said "The Foresight Nottingham Fund is a great example of one of Britain’s great cities making the most of their local assets to generate investment and growth that lasts. The £40m investment is a measure of the confidence that investors have in Nottingham’s Creative Quarter and the entrepreneurial spirit of the area. I very much look forward to seeing the growth and jobs this fund generates in the years to come.”

Bernard Fairman, Chairman of Foresight, commented: "We are delighted to be working with such a visionary team of investors and appreciate the support of both the City and County councils in establishing this commercial fund to support the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Growth Plans and stimulate inward investment and growth of local businesses. The Foresight Nottingham Fund, based in the centre of Nottingham will be investing in local businesses, supporting sustainable growth that will create local jobs and wealth for the local community.”

Sir John Peace, Chairman of Experian and an investor in the Fund, said: "For over a century following the industrial revolution, largely driven by the textiles industry, Nottingham was recognised as an international hub of innovation and entrepreneurship. It is our aim to once again recreate that spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship, and the launch of the Foresight Nottingham Fund is a key component of the City and County Growth Plans. I am delighted to welcome Foresight to Nottinghamshire, and look forward to supporting the Fund as it seeks to stimulate growth and drive job creation across the region.”

Nick McDonald, Nottingham City Councillor and Portfolio Holder for Jobs and Growth, commented: "We welcome the launch of the Fund, which will help local businesses to gain the access to capital that’s crucial to growth and development for their organisations, and for the economic success of our city. Importantly, the Fund has been created for Nottingham and the wider economic region, and it will be delivered in a way that supports and grows that economy, and helps businesses of all sizes. We’re in a time of great opportunity for businesses – this latest launch strengthens the package of business support measures we’ve put together in the Nottingham Growth Plan that are making the city such a great place to do business.”

The Fund is part of the Nottingham Prospectus, the city’s package to attract further investment to boost Nottingham’s economy. The Nottingham Prospectus is a single source access point for all the financial and business support available for businesses and investors, and is a key element of The Nottingham Growth Plan. The Growth Plan sets out a series of measures for driving Nottingham’s economy forward and holds the key to creating significant growth - unleashing enterprise that will bring benefits for generations to come.

ENDS

For further information, please contact:

Ben Thompson: bthompson@foresightgroup.eu / +44 (0)20 3667 8155

Notes to editors:

Investors in the Foresight Nottingham Fund at first close:

- Capital for Enterprise Limited
- Nottinghamshire Local Government Pension Scheme
- Sir John Peace
- Professor Nat Puri
- Sir Harry Djanogly
- Haydn Green Charitable Trust
- Foresight Group LLP

About Foresight
Foresight Group has been managing investment funds on behalf of institutions and retail clients for almost 30 years. With a background in Private Equity and Venture Capital, Foresight has diversified activities and today manages institutional funds principally in UK small cap Private Equity, in European Infrastructure (Solar and PPP) and in Environmental Infrastructure. Foresight has £1 billion assets under management across a number of funds, including Limited Partnerships, Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS) and Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs).
Foresight Nottingham Fund will be managed from Foresight’s Nottingham office at 54-56 High Pavement, Lace Market, Nottingham NG1 1HW. For further information on the Fund or Investment Team please visit http://www.foresightgroup.eu/nottingham/

About The Nottingham Growth Plan
The Nottingham Growth Plan, launched in 2012, sets out an ambitious and long term strategy for economic development and job creation to reinvigorate the city’s fortunes over the next decade. The results of that bold intent, and significant investment, are emerging business growth, job creation, new specialist sector centres of excellence.
The Growth Plan is dedicated to utilising Nottingham’s strengths, including its world-renowned universities, central and cost-effective location, good transport and the quality of life. Its remit includes the promotion and development of a trio of powerful emerging Nottingham sectors - Digital Content, Life Sciences and Clean Technology.
The straightforward message that Nottingham is ‘open for business’ is now reaching and engaging with a national and international audience.