North West of England prime destination for PE VC investment, says new report

England’s North West is a prime destination for private equity and venture capital investment, and therefore a ‘key player’ in the UK’s growth-led recovery, a new report has found.

The report, produced by the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (BVCA), takes a closer look at investment in the North West of England and is the first in a series of publications that look at the benefits of private equity and venture capital backing on a region-by-region basis.
 
The benefits, both social and economic, are illustrated by the latest industry data – including how many businesses and sectors are supported, the number of jobs they create and the total investment value – alongside a set of new case studies featuring a number of private-capital backed businesses from across Merseyside, Cheshire and Lancashire.
 
The companies featured operate at all stages of growth and across a broad range of sectors. Some are fledgling in size but with fantastic potential and others are global exporters of goods, but all have benefitted from the business expertise and guidance that comes with private equity and venture capital backing.
 
Some of the North West-based companies included in the report are:
 
Merlin Entertainments – the second largest global operator of location-based visitor attractions and theme parks, including the Blackpool Tower, Sea Life Centres and Madame Tussauds.

The British Engineering Services – the UK’s leading testing, inspections and certifications provider, based in Manchester, ensuring the safety of Britain’s workers through an extensive range of engineering services.

WEALTH at Work – A Liverpool-based specialist provider of financial education and guidance in the workplace – including through interactive financial wellbeing websites, workplace seminars and a dedicated wealth management service – supported by regulated financial advice for individuals.

The report goes on to identify the attractiveness of the North West as a region for private investment, the role it can, and will, play in the UK’s growth-led economic recovery, and the alignment of firms investing in the region with public policy priority.
 
The new data, provided by the BVCA, indicates private investment into 420 businesses in the region. Between 2017 and 2019, GBP2.6 billion was invested into 220 of these firms, supporting close to 50,000 employees.
 
Michael Moore, Director General of the BVCA, says: “The North West is home to some of the most exciting opportunities in the country for investors and the region is now host to the UK’s most significant private equity and venture capital hub outside of London and the South East.
 
“At a time of unprecedented challenges, private equity and venture capital investments have supported North West businesses in their recovery and enabled them to provide benefits across their region, compete on a global platform, and to work towards Net Zero. This is the public value which private equity and venture capital investment is proud to bring across the nations and regions of the United Kingdom.”