ENTREPRENEURS are being urged to make the most of a £37m fund that can be used to boost regeneration in the region.

The Partnership Investment Fund said hundreds of companies, particularly in North Yorkshire, were missing out on loans and investments from a £37m fund because they did not know it existed.

Chief executive Dr Jon Harris said: "Overall, the fund has made good progress since its launch earlier this year, but we have been disappointed at the level of interest shown by businesses in North Yorkshire.

"I am concerned that the low level of activity so far means that many eligible North Yorkshire businesses are missing out on financial support that can help them to develop and expand."

The funds, operating through Partnership Investment Finance (PIF), are available to businesses across Yorkshire and the Humber. Loans range from £15,000 to £1m.

Dr Harris said: "The application and approval process is as straightforward and efficient as possible in order to ensure that we can fulfil our remit to support as many eligible businesses as we can over the next four years and boost economic growth and job creation within our operating area."

PIF is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund programmes. Its resources are a mix of private and public finance from partners that include the European Union, the regional development agency Yorkshire Forward, Barclays and the YFM Group.

For more information, visit www.partnershipif.co.uk