MIKE WELCH, the entrepreneur who built up the Blackcircles.com tyre business before offloading it to Michelin for £50 million in 2015, has launched a new property investment fund.

The fund has been set up by Full Circle Partners, the investment vehicle established by Mr Welch, corporate lawyer Paul Jarman-Williams and public relations specialist Nick Freer this year. Its portfolio includes investments in Atterley.com, the online fashion start-up.

FCP Property Development Fund expects to invest around £20m over the next 12 to 18 months to provide short-term liquidity and investment support to established commercial and residential property developers, with loans ranging in value from £250,000 to £2.5m. Around £6m has already been invested by the fund.

Matthew Edgar, a long-time adviser to Mr Welch and property sector veteran, will run the fund.

Mr Welch said: “The FCP property fund formalises the activity Matthew and I have been engaged on for the last year or so.

“Matthew is massively respected in the sector and what the last year has shown us, by applying tried and tested private equity principals to allow property businesses to improve their liquidity through the property development process, is that there is a big gap in the market for this kind of offering.”