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Funding news - 29/08/2017

British Business Bank Launches £120 Million Initial Tranche of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund

The British Business Bank has announced the first wave of its £250 million Midlands Engine Investment Fund, with the launch of £120 million worth of SME debt finance and small loans designed to provide greater support to the region’s smaller businesses.

The then Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, announced the creation of a £250 million Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) in the March 2016 Budget, aimed at boosting the region’s economy and supporting the growth ambitions of its 780,000 small and medium-sized businesses.

The MEIF aims to transform the finance landscape for smaller firms in the Midlands and to realise the region’s potential to achieve economic growth through enterprise. It will provide commercially-focused finance through Small Business Loans, Debt Finance, Proof of concept and Equity Finance funds.

On 29 August 2017 the British Business Bank launched the first tranche of the programme which has a total of £120 million and is composed of two separate streams – £30 million of small business loans valued at £25,000 to £150,000, and £90 million of debt finance worth £100,000 to £1.5 million. The current £120 million fund is part of a wider £250 million commitment, with further funding to be made available in autumn 2017.

The MEIF provides gap funding for growth-orientated small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that have been unable to secure all or part of the funding required to support their growth from traditional, commercial lenders. Following ex-ante assessments by the British Business Bank it was felt that funds should be sector agnostic.

The funds in which Midlands Engine Investment Fund invests are open to businesses with material operations, or planning to open material operations, in the Midlands Engine area, covering the West Midlands and East & South East Midlands.

Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Midlands Engine Ministerial Champion said:

"The investment fund is a key part of our Midlands Engine Strategy to help create more jobs and boost skills in the region. This financial support will enable local businesses to grow, move in to new markets and boost productivity."

Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy commented:

"The UK is a world leader in business and innovation. This is why we want all corners of the country to experience the benefits of enterprise, growth and jobs created by new businesses. The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is an important part of our modern Industrial Strategy, which will help entrepreneurs across the thriving Midlands region access the funding and support they need to start, grow and invest in their future."

For more information on how to access finance from the MEIF and on the nature of funds available, interested parties should visit the MEIF website.

Applications can be made at any time.

Source: meif.co.uk, 29/08/2017

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