Manchester-based online retailer Little Black Dress has secured a £1m loan from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).

The Ardwick-based company specialises in occasion wear retailing both online and through boutiques across the country.

The investment, through the GMCA’s Investment Fund, will be used to support the growth of Little Black Dress’s existing ranges and create new jobs.The business has enjoyed “significant sales growth” over the last year, having launched in October 2014.

Mark Evans, CEO of Little Black Dress, said: “The loan Capital from the GMCA will enable us to accelerate our business plans, and position Little Black Dress as the ‘go-to’ premium occasion wear brand on-line.

“As a relatively new brand, it’s sometimes difficult to secure traditional financial funding, so the GMCA facility is a great fit.”

He said it would enable the company to “recruit ‘the great talent’ to drive us forward with pace”.

Councillor Kieran Quinn, GMCA Lead member for Investment, Strategy and Finance, added: “In my view this is exactly what the Combined Authority is about – being an enabler for growth and investment in the region.”