The latest round of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund will seek to redress the regional imbalance in the availability of equity finance for small businesses.
The British Business Bank has announced the latest wave of its £250m Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF). Up to £100m of equity finance will be made available to small businesses across the West, East and South-East Midlands.
MEIF was initially announced by former chancellor George Osborne in the 2016 Spring Budget, but it suffered several setbacks, including problems with the procurement process for awarding contracts, which led to delays. The first wave was eventually announced in August last year.
The BBB will work with the region’s ten Local Enterprise Partnerships, fund managers, and the business community to create funding opportunities for Midlands businesses.
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Sajid Javid MP, housing secretary and ministerial champion for the Midlands Engine, said: “The Midlands Engine already boasts over 14 per cent of the UK’s high-growth businesses and its economy is worth more than £230bn– larger than countries like Denmark. We want to harness its huge potential and help give small firms across the Midlands that much-needed boost to grow their business.
“Ensuring every part of the UK can play to its strengths and spread prosperity is central to our Industrial Strategy, and this fund will not only generate jobs to benefit the entire Midlands but, ultimately, the British economy.”
Patrick Magee, chief commercial officer, British Business Bank, said: “The launch of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund’s equity finance will help to grow the region’s access to funds to support its economic potential and collective talent. I encourage Midlands businesses looking to take the next step in their growth journey to connect with our three Fund Managers to see how equity finance could benefit them.”
Earlier this week, a report by the BBB revealed that there are significant regional imbalances in the supply of equity finance across the UK. The fund will aim to redress the balance, and increase the supply of equity finance to the Midlands.
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