Birmingham City Council's venture capital arm Finance Birmingham has invested £25 million through its SME funding programme.

Finance Birmingham, a national provider of growth capital, has revealed the funds have gone towards helping 35 businesses create and safeguard more than 1,200 jobs across England in less than 12 months.

The funds, launched in summer last year, offer small- to medium-sized businesses support to grow and create jobs.

Sue Summers, chief executive of Finance Birmingham, said there was £65 million still available to invest.

She said: "SME businesses are the driving force of the UK economy. While representing less than one per cent of established businesses, high growth SMEs are responsible for 20 per cent of all job growth over a typical three-year period. Supporting these businesses is therefore vital.

"Over the last 12 months, we have focused very clearly on helping to provide not only the flexible funding options that these businesses need but a speed of delivery and expert advice not found elsewhere.

"So far, in supporting 35 businesses, we have helped to create and secure 1,292 jobs. With funds still available, I'd encourage all businesses with solid growth plans to get in touch."

One recipient, retail design practice Green Room which is headquartered at Fort Dunlop in Castle Bromwich, secured multi-million pound investment through Finance Birmingham to support its continued expansion.

Birmingham-headquartered Handmade Burger Company recently benefited from £600,000 from the fund to support the fit out of its latest restaurant in Grand Central.

Coventry Chemicals, a manufacturer and supplier of cleaning products to the professional, retail and healthcare sectors, also received £1.75 million to support its international growth, including plans for a major export drive.