(l-r) – Ian Richards, Louise Richley and David Alprovich

Investment of £300,000 has helped to more than double the staff and drive innovation at North East digital communication specialist Beyond Digital Solutions.

The investment, from Middleton Enterprises, Northstar Ventures and Beyond Digital’s Managing Director Louise Richley, will help the firm to build upon its growing collection of blue chip clients, which already includes Volvo, Jaguar Land Rover and Greggs.

By adding ten new members of staff to the existing team of seven, the Boldon-based company now plans to develop its product range and create the infrastructure for growth around the expanded sales team.

Middleton Enterprises has added an additional £120,000 investment to its existing £100,000 stake in Beyond Digital, whilst a fresh injection of £150,000 takes Northstar Ventures’ support of the company to £300,000. Ms Richley has personally invested £30,000.

Beyond Digital Solutions offers digital signage systems, including content design, software, hardware and ongoing support.

One of the new recruits is National Account Director, appointed alongside new Account Managers and Business Development Managers.

Louise Richley said: “This latest investment is allowing Beyond Digital to grow in ways that have always matched our aspirations. By creating the internal infrastructure for growth, forming a dedicated sales team and working on product development, we are now in a position to push on and reach new levels.

“The continued support of Middleton Enterprises and Northstar Ventures is fantastic, and puts us in a strong position to continue our work with new and existing clients on a national level.”

David Alprovich, Commercial Director of Middleton Enterprises, said: “Beyond Digital Solutions is an excellent example of a North East business using innovative technology to deliver products and services to some of the world’s best known companies. This investment is a reflection of our belief that this is a business with great potential, due to the quality of the products and the creativity of the team. We are looking forward to seeing the company go from strength to strength.”

Ian Richards, Director at Northstar Ventures, said: “Beyond Digital Solutions is an exciting and dynamic company in a growing market. The creation of jobs from this investment is great news for the North East and for the company as a whole and shows real value from our investment.”

Both of Northstar Ventures’ investments come from the firm’s Finance for Business North East Accelerator Fund, which is backed by the European Regional Development Fund, the Regional Growth Fund and the European Investment Bank.



CONTACT: Paul White on 01325 363436

Notes to Editors:

Middleton Enterprises Ltd is a private investment company that has made a substantial contribution to the North East’s economy by investing in and providing business advice to entrepreneurial businesses.

During recent years, it has supported a number of North East businesses, generally from start-up, usually taking a minority stake and offering strategic advice to support growth.

Jeremy Middleton

Mr Middleton is a high-profile entrepreneur and philanthropist based in Newcastle. He started his career as a Brand Manager at Procter & Gamble before working for PriceWaterhouseCoopers as a Marketing Consultant. He co-founded HomeServe, now a FTSE 250 company which operates in the UK, the USA, France, Spain and Italy, and remains a shareholder with a seat on the Executive Committee. He is a director at North East based energy and water consultancy company Utilitywise PLC.

Mr Middleton and his family are active supporters of Maggie’s Centre and World Vision, an international charity which works to improve the lives of people in developing countries.

Mr Middleton has carried out a range of sponsored fundraising for a variety of charities which to date include the North Pole, Mount Kilimanjaro, Mont Blanc, The Haute Route, Mount McKinley, Mount Elbrus and a cycle ride from London to Paris.

Mr Middleton has been a Board Member of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) since 2011 and is Chairman of the North East LEP Investment Fund, which makes recommendations to the LEP Board for the £25m Growing Places Fund and the £30m Infrastructure Fund.

In 2012 Jeremy was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for Services to Politics and Charities.

About Northstar Ventures

Northstar Ventures is a venture capital company dedicated to building successful high growth businesses across the North East of England. The £27m Finance for Business North East Accelerator Fund is one of the funds we manage.

The Accelerator invests in high growth, innovative early stage businesses in any eligible sector and will complete investments of between £100k and £500k, with the maximum investment into any one company being limited to £750k per year. It invests in companies and pre-start enterprises at an early stage of their development i.e. predominantly at the start-up and seed capital stages.

Northstar Ventures Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Northstar Ventures Limited is a limited company registered in England and Wales with company number 05104995. Registered office: 5th Floor, Maybrook House, 27-35 Grainger Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 5JE. Further information can be found at http://www.northstarventures.co.uk


Northstar Ventures

Sophie Atkinson, Marketing Executive 0191 229 2770sophie@northstarventures.co.uk

Hilary Florek PR

Hilary Florek, Managing Director 0191 285 7100hilary@hilaryflorekpr.co.uk

About North East Finance and the Finance for Business North East (or JEREMIE) Fund

North East Finance (NEF) is the holding fund manager of the £142.5m Finance for Business North East (FBNE) programme: a suite of seven venture capital and loan funds which NEF established in 2010. The funds, which provide investment for start-up and growing businesses in the North East of England, will continue investing until 2015 and aim to support 850 companies and to create or safeguard over 7,500 jobs.

NEF oversees the delivery of the seven funds, each of which is managed by an independent, FCA regulated fund management company. Details of these, and up to date information on the progress of the FBNE programme, is available on NEF’s website: http://www.northeastfinance.org As well as providing funding options to businesses finding it difficult to access mainstream finance in the current economic climate, the FBNE programme aims to help stimulate new business creation, private investment in business and entrepreneurialism in the North East.

The FBNE programme is funded by the North East of England European Regional Development Fund programme, the European Investment Bank and the UK government. It was established under the JEREMIE initiative: a joint initiative of the European Commission and the European Investment Bank which stands for Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises.

The Chief Executive of North East Finance is Andrew Mitchell and the organization has an Advisory Board which includes highly experienced venture capital and finance professionals from across the UK.


North East Finance

Andrew Mitchell, Chief Executive 0191 211 2300


NEF’s PR agency: MHW PR Ltd
Wayne Halton 0191 233 1300

About the European Regional Development Fund

The Accelerator Fund is part of the Finance for Business North East project – which is part financed by the North East of England European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit: http://www.gov.uk/browse/business/funding-debt/european-regional-development-funding


Alison Laggan, ERDF Communications Adviser Tel: 0303 444 6460



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(l-r) – Ian Richards, Louise Richley and David Alprovich
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