Businesses in the region benefitted from investment funding of nearly £30m last year following the successful launch of the Finance for Business North East Fund.
Launched last January the £125m portfolio of six investment funds, received enquiries from close to 1,000 businesses in its first year in operation.
A total of 77 investments were made in 72 separate businesses across a wide range of sectors, with the £14m invested by the fund leveraging a further £15m in private investment.
Andrew Mitchell, chief executive of North East Finance which manages the programme, said: “We’re exactly where we hoped we would be after the first year.
“Demand has been strong, as we anticipated it would be given the financial climate, but the standard of the investees has also been very high and we’re confident of building a strong legacy.
Around 400 jobs have been safeguarded, over 25 new jobs have been directly created and almost 500 new jobs are expected to be created by these companies over the next three years.