Cirrus secures £600,000 equity funding from The North West Fund for Digital & Creative

Leadership development specialist Cirrus has secured a £600,000 venture capital investment from The North West Fund for Digital & Creative.

Wilmslow-based Cirrus, which delivers leadership, talent and engagement programmes for international clients, will invest the funding in expanding its new digital delivery platform.

Cirrus was founded in 2010 by Simon Hayward, whose previous learning and development business Academee was recognised as the UK’s fifth best place to work by the Financial Times Best Workplaces awards. Through a combination of organic growth, international expansion and acquisitions, Cirrus has grown profitably to annual revenues of £5 million.

The company ( offers a range of consulting services at senior management level, designing and delivering programmes to develop leadership capability, assess talent, and deeply engage employees with their organisation’s values and goals.

The investment is being deployed in building a stronger digital team at the Wilmslow head office, to accelerate the creation of Cirrus development programmes. These programmes combine face-to-face learning with digital elements such as portals, apps, diagnostic tools and other online learning solutions to give participants choice and control over their learning experience.

Cirrus ranks many global and UK blue-chip companies in its client base, including Marks & Spencer, Tate & Lyle, Three, EE, and RBS, and delivers its services primarily across Europe and the Asia-Pacific region from offices in Wilmslow, London and Melbourne, Australia.

CEO Simon Hayward, said:

“Digital engagement is part of the strategic vision of Cirrus and our clients. This investment is helping to accelerate the growth of our digital platform, and AXM and The North West Fund for Digital & Creative have been supportive and enthusiastic partners. Cirrus can now develop deeper digital expertise and integrate it with our capability in the areas of leadership, talent and engagement to create more effective blended solutions for clients.”

David Smith, investment director, AXM Venture Capital, which manages The North West Fund for Digital & Creative, said:

“We have great confidence in the success of this investment, combining an unusually experienced and successful leadership team, a large global market opportunity, and the scalability that will come from delivering services through the new Cirrus digital platform.”

The North West Fund for Digital & Creative is part of The North West Fund and is financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Investment Bank.

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