A THAI restaurant and a nursery have received a combined £400,000 in investment from a government-backed fund.

Nusara was awarded a £250,000 loan to support its opening of its new restaurant in Westbourne, while Twynam House Nursery School was given a £150,000 loan to open a second site in the New Forest.

The money comes from the South West Investment Fund, which has passed the £2million investment milestone with the latest round of funding.

Nusara is a multi-award-winning boutique Thai restaurant brand.

Bournemouth Echo: Andy Lennox from Nusara.

It is the brainchild of entrepreneur Andy Lennox, who partnered with husband-and-wife chef duo Thammanoon Thurasan and Nusara Padungwang and Acorn-Award winning operations director Sophie Cox.

The money the brand received supported plans to open a new restaurant in Westbourne, which is set to open in early spring 2024.

Westbourne has been a ‘high target area’ for Nusara, after it was given Ambassador Choice status and granted Thai Select signature status by the Royal Thai Government.

Andy Lennox said: “We’ve managed to create something special out of such a tough time. As a passion project, to open four sites in just under three years is remarkable and a testament to the team we have here.

“For me, being backed by the South West Investment Fund through [fund managers] The FSE Group is a key marker in the sand for the brand.

“This not only helps us fund the opening of our new restaurant in Bournemouth but the fact we’ve managed to secure more traditional debt financing for the first time, will allow for the potential of an accelerated roll out once we are bedded in.”

Family run Twynham House Nursery School, in Christchurch, was opened three years ago in the midst of the pandemic.

Bournemouth Echo: The Clock House Nursery School.

Last year, the Kapila family had begun to fit out an 18th century building in Pennington for a second site.

But, as a Grade II listed building, additional funds were needed to complete the upgrades and modernisation.

The £150,000 from the fund has been used to support this work at the second nursery, called The Clock House Nursery School.

Paul Kapila, senior director said: “The fund has been key to helping us unlock our business strategy and open a second nursery. Without this funding, we wouldn’t have been able to finish our renovations and deliver our high level of care to children in the area.

“We’ve recently opened our doors and been inundated with applications from parents interested in placing their child with us. We’re thrilled that thirteen months of hard work have paid off.”