By Daniel Hunter

The Business Growth Fund (BGF) is aiming to pump £200m into more than 30 companies this year after investing £120m in 2012.

Paul Oldham, the fund's regional director for South West of England and South Wales, said that the bank-financed scheme was aiming to build on the 24 investments it made in the past 12 months

"We recognise that economic conditions are still challenging, and that taking on investment for growth at a time like this can seem daunting. But we see plenty of strong pockets of growth across the country. Good businesses can prosper," he told The Insider.

"The harsh reality is that far too many of these companies are not investing enough at this time. Access to funding plays a part, but failure to invest is also a sign of weak confidence and insufficient pathways to growth."

The BGF has yet to make an investment in a South West business, but the Bristol-based team has been active, providing funding for Swanbridge Hire & Sales in Barry and Portsmouth-based Magma Global.

"We remain very ambitious for the year ahead. In 2013, BGF anticipates investing approximately £200m in more than 30 companies. This is cause for confidence," Oldham said.

"If we can instil this confidence in all the businesses we meet, and with the support of the banks and advisory community, help these businesses get ready for investment, there is no reason why we can’t do even more in the months and years ahead."

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