Northern Gritstone, an investor focusing on university spin-outs and IP-rich companies in the North of England, has closed £312 million from investors.
More than £150 million of funding was provided by pension funds from Yorkshire, Manchester and Merseyside, while further support was secured from institutional investors including British Patient Capital (part of the British Business Bank) and Lansdowne Partners.
Launched in July 2021 by the Universities of Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield, Northern Gritstone announced its first closing of £215m in May 2022 and secured a further £30m from British Patient Capital in March 2023. Chaired by Lord Jim O’Neill and led by Chief Executive Duncan Johnson, the investor is backing companies in some of the UK’s fastest growing sectors, such as advanced materials, health technology and AI, and has made fifteen investments in some of the most promising companies in the field of science and technology.
Lord O’Neill said of the funding: “Our ability to raise funding on this scale underlines the support for the world-class science and innovation being developed in the North of England.
“Receiving the support of asset managers, mayors and pension funds demonstrates the broad appeal of Northern Gritstone’s offering. It is a vote of confidence in the growth potential of the northern economy and an important step in our development of a technology and innovation hub in the region.”
Johnson added: “For too long, the North of England’s world-class research and innovation has not received the funding it deserves. Today’s announcement is a vote of confidence in both the region and our Profit with Purpose philosophy.
“Our deals have already delivered almost £100 million of investment in the North, supporting some of the country’s most promising businesses. The support of our investors will allow us to explore further opportunities in the wider Northern business ecosystem and drive growth and employment in the region.”
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