Northern Gritstone, a technology investment firm hoping to replicate Silicon Valley in Northern England, announced a final close of its £312 million ($378 million) fund, with nearly half of that from five local government pension funds, according to an Oct. 30 release.
South Yorkshire Pension Fund, West Yorkshire Pension Fund, Greater Manchester Pension Fund, Merseyside Pension Fund and East Riding Pension Fund committed more than £150 million combined. Mayors of Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire also made commitments, along with asset managers M&G, Columbia Threadneedle, British Patient Capital (part of the British Business Bank), Lansdowne Partners and property investor Bruntwood.
Since the fund's first close of £215 million in May 2022, Northern Gritstone has funded "some of the North of England's world-class science and innovation-based businesses," with investments in 15 companies in advanced materials, health technology and AI. More investments planned, the firm said.
Jim O'Neill, chairman of Northern Gritstone, said in the release that endorsements of asset managers, mayors and pension funds "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."