Long-awaited Midlands Engine Investment Fund launches with initial 120m up for grabs
Ending a 17-month wait, the British Business Bank (BBB) has launched the first wave of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF), with an initial 120m in debt finance and loans available for small firms in the region.
The fund represents the primary financial backing for the Midlands Engine, one of the government’s key regional development initiatives in its industrial strategy.
Initially announced by former chancellor George Osborne in 2016’s Spring Budget, the Midlands Engine Investment fund suffered several setbacks, with problems in the procurement process for awarding contracts causing delays.
Now, two separate allocations are available for small business owners to access 30m in small business loans valued from 25, 000 up to 150, 000, with 90m of debt finance worth 100, 000 to 1.5m.
The remaining 130m of the overall pot is yet to be announced.
To deliver the fund, the BBB collaborated with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and ten Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in the East and South East Midlands and West Midlands.
The MEIF covers the following LEP areas: Black Country, Coventry andwarwickshire, Greater Birmingham and’solihull, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, The Marches, and Worcestershire in the West Midlands; and Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham andnottinghamshire (D2N2) Greater Lincolnshire, Leicester and Leicestershire and South East Midlands.
In an official statement, communities secretary Sajid Javid said the investment fund was crucial to job and skills creation in the Midlands.
He added: This financial support will enable local businesses to grow, move in to new markets and boost productivity.
Meanwhile, BEIS secretary Greg Clark said funding would maintain Britain’s place as 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, he said.
Clark added: 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.
Speaking on behalf of the BBB, chief commercial officer Patrick Magee, said the fund had would perform a vital role in the Midlandseconomy.
Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.
Rising house prices in London are causing a mass exodus? of digital entrepreneurs from the capital, according to a new report, as regional tech hubs tempt startups with cost-effective alternatives. more»