A group of 20 of the top venture capital firms which manage more than £25bn have signed a government-backed agreement to unlock investment in fast-growing British companies.

The chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, described the agreement as a “huge win”, which could boost the country’s pension pots.

Signatories of the pledge, known as the Venture Capital Investment Compact, will aim to attract UK pension funds as limited partners into the funds they manage.

Firms that have signed up include Amadeus Capital, Octopus, Northern Gritstone and SV Health Investors.

The British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, which led the compact, said the extra investment will help businesses grow and create jobs.

Michael Moore, chief executive of the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, said: “Many overseas investors have jumped at the chance to invest in – and benefit from – the performance of innovative UK firms. UK savers must have access to the same opportunity.”

It comes after a Mansion House speech in July which announced nine pension providers have signed up to allocate at least five per cent of default funds into unlisted equities by 2030.

The new ‘compact’ builds on that agreement and claims it will help to unlock more than £50bn of new capital by the end of the decade.

According to the City of London Corporation, just 0.5 per cent of defined contribution pension assets are invested in unlisted UK equities such as venture capital and growth equity.

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