Debt-beset Telewest Communications, runner-up in the UK’s two-horse cable TV and services race [after NTL], saw its shares soar by over 25% Wednesday after announcing it had received new funding of £125 million ($185m).

The cash, the first tranche of a facility granted by financial services group GE Capital, is part of a conditional £2.25 billion deal concluded in the spring. It will relieve the pressure of servicing Telewest’s £4.8 billion debt millstone, incurred in the construction of its cable network and which was finally completed in March.

Says Telewest group finance director Charles Burdick: “This represents continuing support for our business by one of the most respected financial institutions, at a particularly difficult time in the markets.”

The cash will be used to fund running costs and future expansion until the firm’s predicted emergence from the red in 2004.

News source: Financial Times