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The inaugural event of a new investment network which has been set up in the Bay area by local business advisors got off to a roaring success.
Bay Business Angels held its first investment meeting in mid-march which was attended by over 75 invited guests. Pitches came from: Stephenson’s Dairy Ltd, MCM Medical Ltd, Oaktec Ltd, 4Rad Ltd and SW Asset Protection Ltd.
40% of the pitching businesses received investment offers (normally for this type of event the figure is nearer 10%), some more than one.
Bay Business Angels was founded by six Lancaster based businesses: commercial lawyers Baines Wilson LLP, Accountants: Moore and Smalley and CLB Coopers,  National Westminster Bank plc, Barclays Bank plc, Lancaster University and Manchester based North West Access to Finance.
The idea came from conversations which John Wilson from Baines Wilson had with Steve Wall from Manchester based Access to Finance around establishing an investment network to benefit local businesses and the Bay area. The idea being to roll out a locally based alternative to the successful Angel events operated by Access to Finance in Manchester but also now throughout the rest of Lancashire including Lancaster, Blackburn and Stockport.
Jenny Tooth, Chief Executive of the UK Business Angels Association attended the inaugural event. Jenny added: “I was delighted to be asked to speak at the inaugural event. The attendance of around 75 people was fantastic and the presentations were of the highest quality. Congratulations to the partners too because, as I am aware, Bay Business Angels is unique in the country, being the only organisation where professionals have come together like this for the greater good.”
Steve Wall from Access to Finance added: “I was very pleased with the outcome of this initiative and if it were not for the pioneering spirit of the local professional networks and University, this unique event would not have been possible“
Steph Stephenson of Stephenson’s Dairy, who presented at the inaugural event, commented: “As a rapidly growing business we were delighted to have the opportunity to pitch at the inaugural event. It was a very positive experience and meeting so many professionals who understood our business needs was really supportive”
John Wilson of Baines Wilson added: “We hope that the network will not just provide access to Angel finance for new and expanding Bay based businesses but also potentially attract new businesses into the area. Especially given one of the partners is the incredibly successful Lancaster University and its established Management School so providing an almost perfect support environment for investee companies.”
The next event is in September and applications are now being considered by potential investee companies but there is still ample time for businesses seeking investment to make contact. Those interested should contact Steve Wall at Access to Finance on 07824472105. Potential investors (who will typically invest between £10k to £100k on an individual basis) should make contact with any of the partner organisations for more information – details below:

  • John Wilson, Baines Wilson LLP – 01524 548494
  • Tony Whiteway, CLB Coopers – 01524 541200
  • Jason Bain, NatWest – 07770 543557
  • Pete Cornwall, Lancaster University Management School – 01524 510728
  • Richard Hall, Moore and Smalley LLP – 01524 62801
  • Steven Blunstone, Barclays – 07500 782143
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