Welsh economy secretary Ken Skates (pictured above, left) has announced that the UK’s first development bank has been given the official go-ahead by the Welsh government.
The Development Bank of Wales – which is due to launch in October – will offer the necessary growth finance and business support to attract and retain micro businesses and SMEs within Wales.
The aim is to generate over a billion pounds of investment to the Welsh economy over the next five years.
This will be the first service of its kind in the UK and is expected to provide Wales with a competitive business edge over the rest of the UK.
Mr Skates stated that it would receive a further £35m of EU funding to add to the £136m Wales Business Fund that was announced last year to support start-up and existing SMEs across Wales.
The Welsh economy secretary said: “I am delighted to confirm that following Welsh government approval of the business case, the Development Bank of Wales is set to be up and running by October.
“The development bank will be the first of its kind in the UK, addressing current market failures within business finance and providing focused support for micro, small start-ups and innovative businesses across Wales enabling them to become fitter, bigger and stronger.
“It will increase the availability of funding to SMEs to £80m per annum within five years and we anticipate that, taking into account private sector leverage, this will have a potentially transformational impact on the Welsh economy of over £170m per annum by 2021/22.
“To support the bank we are extending the Wales Business Fund by a further £35m with EU funding.
“This will take the total of the fund to £171m, and we will have news of more money to support the bank’s work later this year.”
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