Lancashire businesses seeking growth finance have received a boost with today's launch of the £400m Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) by the British Business Bank. The fund is aimed at boosting the North of England’s economy and helping the region’s businesses realise their growth potential.
The British Business Bank’s recent Spotlight: The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund publication reported that the North contributes £350bn per year in GDP – close to one fifth of the UK economy. The new fund aims to build on this foundation by providing smaller businesses with increased choice of funding and producing greater levels of investment across the Northern Powerhouse region.
Based in Sheffield, the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund will work with 10 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), combined authorities and Growth Hubs, as well as local accountants, fund managers and banks, to provide a mixture of debt and equity capital to northern-based SMEs at all stages of their development. NPIF will provide funding to fund managers who will offer Microfinance (£25,000 – £100,000), Business Loans (£100,000 – £750,000) and Equity Finance (up to £2m).
Initially announced in November 2015, NPIF combines capital allocated to the 10 LEPs in the North West, Yorkshire and Humber and the Tees Valley by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), a loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB), funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and an additional loan from British Business Finance Limited, a British Business Bank group company. The fund managers appointed to manage the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund are:
Northern Powerhouse Minister, Andrew Percy MP.
Andrew Percy, Northern Powerhouse Minister, said: “Our efforts to build the Northern Powerhouse are delivering real results for local people, with over one million businesses involved, foreign direct investment up by a quarter and 187,000 jobs created in the past year alone. This dedicated £400m will help us go even further, supporting smaller businesses across the region to reach their full potential and helping to create an economy that works for everyone.”
Keith Morgan, CEO at British Business Bank, said: “The North of England has a long and proud history of driving global innovation and economic progress. The region has more high-growth businesses than London and, at close to one fifth of UK GDP, is larger than the economies of Greece, Denmark, Austria and Belgium. “The region has enormous untapped economic potential that can be realised by improved funding options and opportunities. The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund represents a co-ordinated policy approach to help realise this potential across the North.” The project is supported financially by the European Union. Attracting investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.
For more information about Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, please visit www.npif.co.uk.