News

MEIF helping to drive the Midlands Engine after £25million milestone


• Midlands Engine Investment Fund reaches £25million milestone
• Over 100 businesses supported across the region since launch

The £250million Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) has reached its first milestone after supporting investment of £25million in the region’s businesses.

Fully launched in late February last year, the Fund seeks to address regional imbalances in finance available to Midlands businesses. Research from the British Business Bank in its Small Business Finance Market Report reported that only 4% of equity finance deals completed in 2017 were in Midlands firms – demonstrating a need to make finance markets work better for SMEs across the MEIF region.

The £25million invested so far, which includes £10million of private sector funds alongside finance from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, has supported over 100 businesses, ranging from early stage technology start-ups to established manufacturing firms.

In the West Midlands, a diverse mix of firms have received finance from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund. A highlight from its equity finance activity includes the Fund’s involvement in a multi-million-pound funding round for Coventry-based Arc Vehicle. Delivered by Mercia Fund Managers, this MEIF finance has allowed the engineering company to bring its technologically advanced electric motorcycle to market.

From its range of completed debt deals, the Midlands Engine Investment Fund injected £40k in GHO Pressings Ltd, located in Cannock. Provided by BCRS Business Loans, this finance is to be used to help the company create two jobs and purchase new tooling equipment as it seeks to increase sales by bringing its tooling arm in-house.

In the East Midlands, a diverse mix of firms have received finance from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund. A highlight from its equity finance activity includes the Fund’s £400k investment in Nottingham-based Locate Therapeutics Ltd – part of a £2million funding package supported also by Mercia Fund Managers. Allowing it to recruit six experts, this finance is to play a supporting role as the regenerative medicine specialist brings its targeted drug and stem cells delivery system to market.

From its range of completed debt deals, the Midlands Engine Investment Fund provided £50k to Tended Ltd, located in Lincolnshire. Provided by Enterprise Loans East Midlands, this investment has helped the tech company to both test and launch its wrist-worn wearable safety device. Tended has also created new jobs and increased its marketing presence with the support of the MEIF finance

Delivered by the Government’s British Business Bank, the Midlands Engine Investment Fund forms part of a wider initiative to grow the region’s business community and local economy.

Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, Communities Secretary and Ministerial Midlands Engine Champion, said:

“The Midlands is home to a huge number of innovative and creative businesses, and schemes like the Midlands Engine Investment Fund are helping them grow.

“A thriving Midlands Engine is vital to our modern Industrial Strategy which is why we are backing business in the region to create high-value jobs for the long-term.

“I am determined the Midlands becomes an even better place to live and work, helps deliver an economy that works for everyone and harnesses the opportunities presented by leaving the European Union.”

Investments from the MEIF are made by one of six appointed fund managers working across the East and South-East Midlands and West Midlands and supported by a network of Local Enterprise Partnerships. The £250million fund offers equity and debt investment between £25,000 to £2million.

Commenting on the milestone, Ken Cooper, Managing Director at British Business Bank, said:

“The success of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund to date is the result of a collective effort. Using the expertise of our fund managers and with the support of LEPs and intermediaries we are improving access to finance and making a huge impact at local level.

“The diverse nature of firms supported so far has been a key achievement for the Fund, from trailer manufacturers to university spin outs developing stem cell treatments, all receiving the finance they need to grow their businesses. This journey is only just beginning though, and we encourage businesses from across the region to enquire to see how an MEIF investment could support their ambitions.”

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.

-ENDS-

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About the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF)

• The Midlands Engine Investment Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund, will invest in Debt Finance, Small Business Loans, Proof-of-Concept and Equity Finance funds, ranging from £25,000 to £2m, specifically to help small and medium sized businesses secure the funding they need for growth and development.

• The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is operated by British Business Financial Services Limited, wholly owned by British Business Bank, 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.

• The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the European Investment Bank, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and British Business Finance Limited, a British Business Bank group company.

• The MEIF covers the following LEP areas: Black Country, Coventry & Warwickshire, Greater Birmingham & Solihull, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, The Marches, and Worcestershire in the West Midlands; and Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham & Nottinghamshire (D2N2) Greater Lincolnshire, Leicester and Leicestershire, and South-East Midlands in the East and South-East Midlands.

• The project is receiving up to £78,550,000 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.

• The Government has guaranteed all funding allocated through EU programmes until the end of 2020. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/funding-from-eu-programmes-guaranteed-until-the-end-of-2020

• The European Investment Bank is providing £122,500,000 to support the Midlands Engine Investment Fund. This follows backing for the Northern Powerhouse in 2017 and backing for the newly launched North East Fund. For further information visit www.eib.org

• The funds in which Midlands Engine Investment Fund invests are open to businesses with material operations in or planning to open material operations in the West Midlands and East & South-East Midlands.

• The British Business Bank has published the Business Finance Guide (in partnership with the ICAEW, and a further 21 business and finance organisations). The guide, which impartially sets out the range finance options available to businesses and provides links to support available at a regional level, is available at www.thebusinessfinanceguide.co.uk/bbb.

About the British Business Bank

• The British Business Bank is the UK government’s 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. Its remit is to design, deliver and efficiently manage UK-wide smaller business access to finance programmes for the UK government.

• The British Business Bank is currently supporting almost £5.2bn of finance to nearly 75,000 smaller businesses (as at end of March 2018).

• 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 available to smaller businesses.

• The Business Finance Guide (published in partnership with the ICAEW and a further 21 business and finance organisations) impartially sets out the range of finance options available to businesses at all stages – from start-ups to SMEs and growing mid-sized companies. Businesses can take the interactive journey at http://www.thebusinessfinanceguide.co.uk/bbb.

• The new British Business Bank Finance Hub provides everything high-growth businesses need to know about their finance options, featuring short films, expert guides, checklists and articles from finance providers to help make their application a success. The new site also features case studies and learnings from real businesses to guide businesses through the process of applying for growth finance.

• British Business Bank plc is a limited company registered in England and Wales, registration number 08616013, registered office at Steel City House, West Street, Sheffield, S1 2GQ. 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.

• British Business Bank plc and its principal operating subsidiaries are not banking institutions and do not operate as such. A complete legal structure chart for British Business Bank plc and its subsidiaries can be found on the British Business Bank plc website.