PlaceFirst deal sees North West Fund hit century

The North West Fund has closed its hundredth deal by backing energy and regeneration business PlaceFirst.

PlaceFirst has received an undisclosed investment from The North West Fund for Energy & Environmental, a fund managed by CT Investment Partners.

The energy and environmental-focussed fund is a sub-fund of The North West Fund. The support of PlaceFirst marks a century of deals.

The newly secured capital will be used to fund the growth of the business in two of its ‘key markets’, namely remodelling neighbourhoods and empty homes to create affordable housing and retrofitting renewable energy in the social housing sector.

By backing PlaceFirst, The North West Fund has provided some £30 million in growth capital since December 2010.

Manchester-based PlaceFirst was founded in 2009 following a management buy-out from Tribal Group and provides consultancy in the physical housing regeneration and renewable energy sectors.

David Smith-Milne, owner of PlaceFirst, comments, ‘The partnership with The North West Fund and CT Investment Partners is an important step in the growth of our business.

‘The managerial support from CT Investment Partners will be extremely valuable in the expansion of our business. The Government’s focus on the supply of affordable housing, tackling empty homes and improving domestic energy efficiency in existing housing stock places us in a really strong position to grow.’

Michael Bakewell, investment manager at CT Investment Partners, says the retrofit and refurbishment market within energy and efficiency and renewables in social housing has taken off in recent years and is set to grow further on the back of initiatives such as ‘Green Deal’ and ECO.

He adds, ‘PlaceFirst is a fantastic business that is well placed to be at the forefront of the energy and regeneration market for affordable and social housing in the North of England.’

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.