Express & Star

£100m funding boost for Midlands' businesses

The Government has signed off on the latest wave of a £250 million investment fund to boost small businesses across the Midlands.

Sajid Javid

Up to £100m in equity finance has been committed through the British Business Bank (BBB), with the cash earmarked to accelerate economic growth and promote job creation through the region's small businesses.

Ministers say it will broaden the funding options and opportunities available to Midlands firms.

It forms part of the Government’s Midlands Engine Strategy and follows a £120m debt and small business loans funding pot that was launched last August.

Announcing the funding, Housing Secretary and Ministerial Champion for the Midlands Engine, Sajid Javid, said: “The Midlands Engine already boasts over 14 per cent of the UK’s high-growth businesses and its economy is worth more than £230 billion – 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, the British Business Bank's chief commercial officer, said: "This week the British Business Bank’s Small Business Finance Market report revealed significant regional imbalances in the supply of equity finance across the UK.

"We believe there is a major opportunity to increase the supply of equity finance in the Midlands, and to enhance the growth ecosystem.

"The British Business Bank already supplies £1.2 billion of finance to Midlands businesses and the Midlands Engine Investment Fund will provide more in the most needed areas.

“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."

The fund project is backed by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).