The British Business Bank has announced the first wave of its £250m Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) with the launch of £120m of SME debt finance.
The funding has been introduced to provide greater support to the region's smaller businesses, as well as helping to accelerate economic growth and promote job creation – in line with the government's Midlands Engine strategy.
The announcement has been marked with the publication of a new report on the current state of the regional economy and funding landscape.
The publication 'Spotlight: The Midlands Engine Investment Fund' draws on the recent research by the British Business Bank with other publicly available data and highlights the opportunities available for ambitious, fast-growth businesses across the Midlands Engine area to reach their economic potential.
The report highlights how the MEIF will unlock the potential of the region's small businesses, while detailing the current economic strengths and parameters of the region:
- the Midlands economy contributes 13% of the UK's economic output
- 14% of all high-growth businesses are located in the region
- the five-year business survival rate is higher in the East and West Midlands than in London.
The MEIF 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 the European Investment Bank (EIB).
The £120m fund is composed of two separate parts: £30m of small business loans, valued at £25,000-150,000, as well as £90m of debt finance worth £100,000 to £1.5m.
“The investment fund is a key part of our Midlands Engine strategy to help create more jobs and boost skills in the region,” said Sajid Javid, secretary of state for communities and local government and MEIF champion.
“This financial support will enable local businesses to grow, move into new markets and boost productivity.”
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