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A £60m investment fund that could provide finance to small and medium sized businesses and create new jobs in the North East is being launched.

Private equity group Foresight has set up the Foresight North East Fund, with £18m having been committed to its launch by Durham County Council’s Pension Fund, with additional funding also coming from the Teesside Pension Fund.

The fund will provide equity investments of up to £5m to companies headquartered or having significant operations in County Durham, Tyne and Wear, Northumberland or Teesside, as well as in Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire. It follows similar funds set up elsewhere in the country that have helped companies create thousands of jobs and Foresight is planning to open an office in Newcastle as part of the fund’s operations.

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