Northern Gritstone secures £312m to invest in spinouts  

The capital will be deployed to back science and technology firms in the North of England and builds on momentum of 15 initial investments

Northern Gritstone, an investor focused on university spinouts and IP-rich businesses in the North of England, has closed £312m from investors.

More than £150m of funding was provided by Yorkshire, Manchester and Merseyside pension funds, 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 close 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 backs companies in some of the UK’s fastest growing sectors such as advanced materials, health technology and AI and has made 15 investments in some of the UK’s most promising science and technology-enabled businesses.

Lord O’Neill said of the funding: “Our ability to raise funding on this scale highlights the support for the world-class science and innovation being developed in the North of England.

“Receiving the endorsements of asset managers, mayors and pension funds shows the broad appeal of Northern Gritstone’s offering. It is a show of faith in the potential for growth in the northern economy and a significant 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 generated nearly £100m of investment in the North, providing support to some of the country’s most promising businesses. Our investors’ backing will allow us to explore further opportunities across the wider northern venture ecosystem and stimulate growth and job creation in the region.”

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Dom Walbanke

Dom Walbanke

Dom is a feature writer for Growth Business and Small Business, focused on matters concerning start-ups and scale-ups. He has also been published in the Independent, FourFourTwo magazine and various lifestyle...