A VENTURE capital firm has unveiled a £15million bid to help ambitious companies to grow.

Praetura Ventures, part of the Praetura Group which has offices in Manchester and Blackburn, says the funding should help up to 10 north-west firms expand.

Bosses say they are looking to bridge a cash gap for regional outfits with their first enterprise investment scheme.

To date they have backed Peak AI, the Manchester artificial intelligence firm, and delivery firm Sorted to realise their potential.

David Foreman, Praetura's managing director, said: "The launch of our first EIS fund is an exciting milestone as we look to bridge the funding gap in the north west."

He says while the region has one in 10 of the UK's high-growth firms, it attracts only three per cent of the venture capital.

The scheme is due to close in mid-May and has a target of doubling returns over a five to seven-year period.

David Grimes, Sorted's CEO, said Praetura had "backed their vision" instead of taking over.