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29th August 2017

British Business Bank launches £120million tranche of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF)

British Business Bank launches the first £120million tranche of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF), supported by the European Regional Development Fund, alongside publication of a Spotlight Report on Midlands economy

  • £120m of debt finance and small business loans launched as part of the wider £250m Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF), supported by the European Regional Development Fund.
  • New Spotlight Report on the state of Midlands economy highlights potential of Midlands’ smaller businesses to drive regional growth

The British Business Bank has today announced the first wave of its £250m Midlands Engine Investment Fund, with the launch of £120million worth of smaller businesses debt finance. It has been designed to provide greater support to the region’s smaller businesses, accelerate economic growth and promote job creation – in line with the Government’s Midlands Engine Strategy.

The fund’s launch coincides with the publication of a new report on the state of the region’s economy and funding landscape. Spotlight: The Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) draws on the British Business Bank’s own research together with other publicly-available data. The report highlights the opportunities for ambitious, fast-growing businesses across the Midlands Engine area to reach their economic potential.

It also summarises the economic strengths of the region:

  • The Midlands economy contributes 13% of the UK’s economic output, more than Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland combined
  • 14% of all the UK’s high-growth businesses are located in the region
  • Five-year business survival rate is higher in the East and West Midlands than in London

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is the result of close collaboration between the British Business Bank, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Department for Communities and Local Government and 10 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in the East & South-East Midlands and West Midlands. It brings together new and existing funding from Central Government, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), British Business Bank and European Investment Bank (EIB).

The £120 million fund is composed of two separate lots - £30million of small business loans ranging from £25,000 to £150,000, as well as £90million of debt finance available from £100,000 to £1.5million. The £120million fund is part of a wider £250million commitment, with further funding due to be made available later this Autumn.

Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for communities and Midlands Engine Ministerial Champion said:

“The Midlands Engine 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, said:

“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.”

Patrick Magee, Chief Commercial Officer at the British Business Bank said:

“MEIF will play a pivotal role in plugging in the gaps in the small business funding landscape, ensuring that all businesses have access to the finance they need to grow. Currently, younger small businesses and those looking to scale up, the very businesses that have the greatest potential for job creation, are more likely to have their applications for external finance rejected. We want to mobilise these businesses, supporting organisations of varying sizes and stages of development across the Midlands.”

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund Project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

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