Vimeo logo LinkedIn logo


npif stripes
Back to News Digital Media Stream team

27th February 2024

Acquisitive Manchester-based digital marketing agency boosted by £100k NPIF loan


Northern Powerhouse Investment FundGreat Manchester LEPNPIF - GC & River Microfinance

Digital Media Stream, a Manchester-based digital marketing agency, has secured a £100k loan from NPIF – River & GC Microfinance, which GC Business Finance (GCBF) manages in partnership with River Capital as part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF).

Founded in 2011 by Simon Leeming and Dave Watson after working in sales at an American software company together, Digital Media Stream was established to combine their sales experience with marketing. The business quickly achieved strong growth and is now a Diamond HubSpot Solutions Partner, offering CRM implementation projects with retained marketing services.

Digital Media Stream initially secured an £18,000 Start Up Loan through the British Business Bank and delivered by GCBF in 2014. Using the loan to help scale the business, the team has also utilised a number of other services through the Growth Company, having recently attended workshops organised by the Growth Hub.

In 2023, Digital Media Stream acquired Bespoke Digital, a marketing agency with over 20 years’ experience in digital marketing. Subsequently, the team grew to 22 people, along with implementing a new management structure.

To further scale the business, the Digital Media Stream team worked closely with GCBF, helping to guide them through the application process. This allowed Digital Media Stream to focus on integrating both businesses seamlessly to offer customers the best possible service.

With the NPIF loan in place, Digital Media Stream has ambitious plans for the future and is looking to increase its revenue to £2m. The business also plans to further invest in its talent and technology, building on the increased skillset it gained from the acquisition of Bespoke Digital to enhance the service it offers to clients.

Simon Leeming, co-founder of Digital Media Stream said: “We are incredibly proud of what we have achieved since founding Digital Media Stream in 2011. The last year has been particularly exciting for us, with the acquisition of Bespoke Digital and the expansion of our team. To allow us to continue delivering on our market leading proposition, it was clear additional funding was needed.

Andy and the team at GCBF have supported us throughout our entire journey, from start up to expansion, with this latest loan testament to their ability to understand our business goals. With the new loan in place, we can continue to invest in our people further and support even more clients.”

Andy Nichols, senior loan manager at GC Business Finance, added: “The growth Digital Media Stream has achieved since receiving a Start Up Loan is incredible. Since working with the business in its early stages, the teams’ entrepreneurial spirit and determination was clear, so I am pleased that we have been able to support them again.

The new loan comes at an exciting time as the business enters its next stage of growth following the acquisition of Bespoke Digital. The success of the team showcases the strength of talent in the Northern business environment that we are proud to support through our funding. I look forward to seeing what is next for Digital Media Stream.”

Keira Shepperson, Director at the British Business Bank, said: “Digital Media Stream has shown significant growth, first from securing funding through the Start Up Loans programme and now through the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund. This is an excellent example of Northern talent flourishing and exemplifies why it is so important to invest in regional support. I look forward to seeing how the Digital Media Stream team will grow, creating more jobs in the North and boosting economic prosperity.”

The current NPIF investment phase has now completed with the British Business Bank launching the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund II in March 2024.

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

The MSIF group of funds are managed by River Capital Management Ltd which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the course of investment business. Financial Conduct Authority Registration Number is 180891.

BFS Funding Managers Limited is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority as a Small Authorised UK AIFM under firm reference number 608682.

Editors Notes

Find Out More

If you would like to meet with one of our appointed Fund Managers to talk in more detail please go to 'Funds Available' to find the Fund Managers operating in your area

Signpost microfinance icon


£25k – £100k

Microfinance page
Learn More
Debt finance icon of a road map

Debt Finance

£100k – £750k

Debt Finance page
Learn More
equity finance icon

Equity Finance

£50k – £2m

Equity Finance page
Learn More

For the latest news and views join our mailing list

Join our mailing list

Just add your details below to receive the latest Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund news and information