A NEW fund could re-invest about £100m to the North-East business sector, it has been claimed.

Research group EKOS Limited has started an investigation into the impact of publicly backed funds across the region and highlight ways of attracting future investment.

The move, introduced by North East Access to Finance, is backed by the North-East Local Enterprise Partnership and Tees Valley Unlimited, and could yield at least £30m in returns from previous investment funds alongside matched funding by 2015, with a further £20m in 2018.

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The research will assess the success of previous funds, the strength of the region's economy and how to attract private investment and public funding.

Glasgow-based EKOS will deliver its report in June.

Edward Twiddy, chief executive of North-East Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “For many years the North- East has benefited from deep and wide programmes to provide capital to small and medium-sized businesses.

“These have delivered long-term benefits to companies and individuals by offering finance into places other funds would not reach and we now have the prospect of re-investing proceeds from these investments.

“Businesses create jobs and will drive our future prosperity, so with perhaps £100m to re-invest, this is a great chance to get the most from a very exciting period ahead.”