Simon Barnes and David Atkinson have been chosen to lead a venture capital fund backed by Tate & Lyle to invest in start-ups and expansion stage companies.

Tate & Lyle said that the fund would invest in companies that reflected its drive for growth through next-generation food ingredients, as well as innovations in industrial ingredients, bio-materials and bio-fuels.

Barnes trained as a scientist and has six years' experience in the venture capitalist industry.

Atkinson has held a number of senior positions in the City, including co-founding Stamford Partners, an investment banking firm offering M&A consultancy.