British Business Bank agrees new £37.4m ENABLE Funding facility with Shire Leasing to boost asset finance for smaller businesses

  • ENABLE Funding programme facility will give Tamworth-based Shire access to a £37.4m ‘warehouse’ line
  • British Business Bank’s commercial arm providing £6.6m of mezzanine funding under its Investment Programme
  • European Investment Fund will guarantee 50% of the ENABLE Funding facility

The British Business Bank today announces that it is providing a £37.4m facility to Shire Leasing to increase its funding to smaller businesses for the acquisition of business-critical assets. The transaction is being made under the Bank’s ENABLE Funding programme, which aims to increase the supply of funding to smaller businesses in the UK. The British Business Bank’s commercial arm – British Business Bank Investments Ltd – is providing £6.6m of mezzanine funding under its Investment Programme.

The new facilities announced today will allow Shire to both grow and diversify its funding base. The transaction follows on from the £40m block line funding provided by the British Business Bank’s commercial arm in late 2014.

Keith Morgan, CEO of the British Business Bank said: “Our ENABLE Funding programme is an important part of our support to smaller finance providers as they look to scale up their provision. Helping Shire take the step up from reliance on block funding to being able to access the ENABLE Funding offer is a great example of how we are increasing both the amount and diversity of funding available to smaller businesses.”

Mark Picken, Managing Director, Shire Leasing said: “When we embarked on our initial match funding relationship with the British Business Bank’s commercial arm in 2014 it was always our intent to access the capital markets. The commercial journey we have made with British Business Bank Investments Ltd – and the support we have received from British Business Bank plc’s ENABLE team – has helped us realise this strategy.

“This predicted evolution has been an entirely natural one and we are very proud to have trailblazed the path from match funding to ENABLE Funding – being the first finance provider to have made such a journey with the British Business Bank group. Over the last three years we have all learnt a great deal and I am pleased to say that both our team and theirs have come to trust and respect each other. Trust and respect are vital components for building the solid foundations that will lead to a prosperous future together as we continue to support and develop UK SMEs.”

George Passaris, Head of Securitisation at European Investment Fund, said: “We are pleased to be participating as a guarantor in this innovative facility for Shire. The role of the European Investment Fund in the transaction will be instrumental in supporting Shire’s leasing activity and UK SMEs.”

The ENABLE Funding programme, which has been developed as an aggregation vehicle, allows smaller SME finance providers to expand substantially their provision of finance to smaller businesses.

In order to build the critical mass necessary to refinance the programme’s receivables, the British Business Bank will continue to make similar agreements with other funders. Facilities will typically range from £25m to £150m, and the British Business Bank will aim to refinance these ‘warehouse’ facilities to allow institutional investors access to a large and highly diversified pool of SME debt.

The £6.6m mezzanine loan facility from the British Business Bank’s commercial arm – British Business Bank Investments Ltd – will provide mezzanine funding to Shire to help bolster and optimise its funding position.


British Business Bank

James Pignon, MHP Communications, +44 20 3128 8755,

Scott Shearer, British Business Bank,


Mark Picken, +44 1827 68939,


David Yormesor, +352 42 66 88 346,

Notes to Editors

About Shire

Shire Leasing plc (Shire) was founded by two cousins, John Worton and Martin Smith, in 1990 and is the UK’s largest privately owned independent funding house, specialising in small ticket leasing of business critical equipment. Based in Tamworth Staffordshire, Shire has won awards for its diverse workforce of 130+ employees, its innovative products and as Independent Lessor of the year by Leasing World in 2016.

Shire provides the full range of lease-based services tailored to fund the majority of business assets, allowing UK SMEs to take control of their cash flow by acquiring assets through small, regular payments on a fixed interest basis. Priding itself on customer centricity, Shire recognises the unique nature of every business model when matching financial solutions to a business. Its primary objective is to facilitate cost-effective business growth and development for SMEs across the UK.

Building long-lasting relationships is a key value for Shire, and this is manifest in numerous long term relationships with investors, vendor partners and hirers alike. This multifaceted approach, which includes working alongside equipment vendors who in turn offer finance options to their customers, has been a winning formula and has resulted in over 66,000 UK SMEs being financially supported by Shire.

More information on how Shire delivers flexible funding solutions for British businesses can be found on the Shire Leasing website.

About the British Business Bank
The British Business Bank is the UK’s national economic development bank.  Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity. Our remit is to design, deliver and efficiently manage UK-wide smaller business access to finance programmes for the UK government.

British Business Bank programmes support more than £3.4bn of finance to more than 54,000 smaller businesses and participate in a further £5.1bn finance to small mid-cap businesses (as at end January 2017).

As well as increasing both supply and diversity of finance for UK smaller businesses through its programmes, the Bank works to raise awareness of the finance options, including asset finance, available to smaller businesses. It has published the Business Finance Guide (in partnership with the ICAEW, and a further 21 business and finance organisations). This guide impartially sets out the range finance options available to businesses – from start-ups to SMEs and growing mid-sized companies.  Take the interactive journey at or download/print a copy.

British Business Bank plc is a limited company registered in England and Wales, registration number 08616013, registered office at Foundry House, 3 Millsands, Sheffield, S3 8NH.

As the holding company of the group operating under the trading name of British Business Bank, it is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government which is not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The British Business Bank operates under its own brand name through a number of subsidiaries, one of which is authorised and regulated by the FCA.

More information, including a legal structure chart for British Business Bank plc and its subsidiaries, can be found on the British Business Bank website.

About British Business Bank Investments Ltd

British Business Bank Investments Ltd is the commercial arm of the British Business Bank. It aims to earn a commercial return by investing – through finance providers – in smaller businesses and small mid-caps, pursuing investments on a fully commercial basis without receiving any advantage from the government. Find out more at

British Business Bank Investments Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of British Business Bank plc, the UK government’s economic development bank, registered in England and Wales, registration number 09091930, registered office at Foundry House, 3 Millsands, Sheffield, S3 8NH. Neither entity is authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

About the European Investment Fund
The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank group. Its central mission is to support Europe’s micro, small and medium-sized businesses by helping them to access finance. EIF designs and develops both venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. Find out more at