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21st August 2023

Stockport digital media agency secures funding injection from NPIF


Northern Powerhouse Investment FundGreater Manchester LEPNPIF - River & GC Microfinance

Stockport-based 9Ways Digital Media, a digital media solutions business, has received a £55,000 loan from NPIF – River & GC Microfinance, which GC Business Finance manages in partnership with River Capital as part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.

Founded in 2019 as a joint venture between Stephen McGee, Rosemary Plum and Joseph Siekierkowski, the business was established to provide audio-visual media services catered towards the healthcare sector.

Having built a strong client book of nearly 400 customers, 9Ways currently works with leading private and independent businesses within the wider NHS framework. By working in partnership with NHS services to cater content to address key areas of concern for the general public, the business provides digital screens and a variety of content to key service providers including Pharmacies, GP Surgeries, Primary Healthcare operators and Dentist Surgeries.

When COVID limited footfall in key healthcare settings, 9Ways expanded its service offering to include external digital solutions and social media support, ensuring continued customer engagement and creating new service lines for the business.

Notably, the team recently won a contract for a new NHS pilot, in partnership with Newcastle University. The pilot, rolled out across 20 pharmacies in Durham and Sunderland, will monitor the impact digital media solutions have on local communities in healthcare settings. If successful, the pilot holds the opportunity to be rolled out nationally, ensuring consumers can easily access vital public health information.

To support its growing customer base, 9Ways worked closely with Andy Nichols to secure the necessary funding to continue on its growth trajectory. With a current team of seven people, the business will be hiring an additional two people to drive forward sales and media activity across its service lines. The loan will also be used to assist the business’s working capital requirements.

Looking ahead, the business is also in the process of developing its own media scheduling platform, creating a more integrated service offering across its digital media services. Having focused heavily on the healthcare sector, the business will also be looking to expand its services across a range of other sectors.

Stephen McGee, managing director of 9Ways Digital Marketing, said: “Free and easy access to public health information is incredibly important to the general public, with the pandemic putting this into sharp focus over the past few years. 9Ways was created to fulfil this purpose, creating an engaging format for accessing information in key healthcare settings.

“We’ve already been able to build the business to become a market leader, with this new loan signifying a bold next step. By working with Andy, we were able to create a funding package that aligns with our various strategic growth plans, ensuring funding is entirely bespoke and targeted. As we look to expand our service offering into new markets, the next few years promise to be just as exciting for us.”

Andy Nichols, senior loan manager at GC Business Finance, said: “The work that Stephen and the team have done over the past four years is nothing short of remarkable, now boasting clients across key areas of the NHS on a national scale. It’s been a pleasure to work closely with the team to build this funding package, ensuring this innovative business continues to expand and grow. I look forward to seeing what’s next for the team over the next few years.”

Keira Shepperson at the British Business Bank, said: “9Ways is a great example of an innovative Northern business that has managed to both provide an essential service to the general public, while also experiencing exceptional growth as a business. Given the historic disparity in investment in the North, this latest funding from NPIF will help to create new jobs in the regional economy and drive further growth for the business. It is by providing this essential funding that the wider business ecosystem across the North can continue to thrive.”

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.

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