A £400 million Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund to support growth and entrepreneurialism is to be co-managed by a Chamber subsidiary company.
The Business Enterprise Fund (BEF) will co-manage the NPIF Micro-finance (£25k – £100k) across Yorkshire and Tees Valley, with offices in York, Leeds, Bradford, Darlington and Goole. Doncaster-based Finance For Enterprise (FFE), is the other partner.
A statement from consortium heads Stephen Waud (BEF) and Arthur Foreman (FFE) said: “The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund marks the start of a new era for businesses in the north, and for FFE and the BEF group as lenders. The agreement shows well-deserved confidence in the region and promises support for businesses of all scales and industries. We’re seeing growth across all sectors and demand is up. It’s important that our local business knowledge, with the backing of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, continues to provide the support where it’s required.”
Northern Powerhouse Minister, Andrew Percy, commented: “The Fund is helping us go even further to support smaller businesses across the region and create an economy that works for everyone. To make sure this funding is delivered quickly and effectively, it’s important that local people who know their areas best are able to administer it. These companies have proven history in lending to start-ups, entrepreneurs and small businesses in the North, so it’s great that they are on board to target businesses who will most benefit.”
Grant Peggie, Director of Venture Capital Solutions at the British Business Bank, said: “It is important that we now collaborate with our partners to put this money to work and get in front of those businesses that have a real appetite for growth.”
The British Business Bank is investing £50m into the fund, with the European Investment Bank contributing £180m. The agreement is supported by the Department for Communities and Local Government to help address access-to-finance gaps in the north. The Fund was announced in 2015 and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
Since its launch BEF has supported 3,000 businesses and created or safeguarded over 2,000 jobs in Yorkshire and the North East. In the last 12 months, the organisation has loaned a total of £6.4m. Finance For Enterprise was established more than 30 years ago and provides loans and advice to new-starts and established businesses in South Yorkshire, North Midlands and Lincolnshire. FFE has lent £7.7m to more than 260 businesses in the last 12 months.