Downing Corporate Finance plans to raise up to £16m through its recently launched Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) to invest in a portfolio of freehold and long-leasehold pubs.

The company, which has previously provided funding for groups including Antic and Oak Taverns, plans to focus on acquiring pubs in the Midlands and the South East.

The group, which has previously raised £60m through 12 EIS funds over the last four years, will also look at investment opportunities across the restaurants, late-night bars and nightclub sectors.

It intends to provide an exit for investors after five years.

Downing currently manages investments in 36 pubs located throughout the UK, operated by 12 different management teams.

The new scheme is targeting exit proceeds of £1.10 in approx five years for each net 70p invested.

Accepted applications received by 3 April 2012 for the new fund will receive an additional subscription of 1% of the amount subscribed.