Flexible finance provider FW Capital has appointed a new manager to handle its portfolio of clients in Cumbria.

Alistair Igo takes charge of its customer roster in the county, along with Lancashire, after joining FW Capital from NatWest Bank.

Mr Igo’s focus will be on managing the growing number of businesses that have received support through FW Capital Debt Finance – part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) – and the North West Fund for Loans Plus, formerly part of the £155 million North West Fund.

Since its launch in February 2017, FW Capital has invested £50m from NPIF into 170 businesses across the North, creating over 600 jobs.

Its biggest investment in Cumbria was a £250,000 loan to artisan cheese maker Appleby Creamery, allowing it to make alterations to its state-of-the-art production facility and move into new international markets.

They are one of eight county businesses that have received support through NPIF, which is delivered by the British Business Bank.

Mr Igo had a 31-year spell at NatWest Bank, 21 of which were spent working with SMEs from a wide range of industry sectors in a commercial lending and relationship management capacity.

He said: “NPIF has had such a positive impact on businesses in Lancashire and Cumbria.

“I’m really pleased to be part of a team which is helping to deliver such a necessary source of support.”

FW Capital’s team covering the region has grown from nine to 15 staff since the launch of NPIF.

Gary Guest, FW Capital’s fund director in the North West and Cumbria said: “Over the last two-and-a-half years we have seen a surge in the number of businesses we’ve supported with loans from NPIF.

“But the loans are just the beginning for our customers. Looking after these customers with personal, local relationships is what makes us different.

“It’s key to how we add value post investment and is often cited as a reason for coming back to us for further funding.

“Alistair brings with him vast knowledge and expertise which our customers can tap into. We are delighted that they have joined our growing team here.”