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Midlands Engine Investment Fund reaches £50million milestone

  • £250million Midlands Engine Investment Fund hits £50million milestone

  • Government-backed initiative has made over 150 investments in the region’s businesses

£50million has been injected into the region’s firms with the support of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF).

Revealed at the MEIF’s anniversary event last night (18 June), this latest milestone is the result of making over 150 investments in firms located across the Midlands and includes £19.02 million of private sector leverage.

Now over a year since its full launch, the £250million Fund which is operated by the Government’s British Business Bank has provided finance to a wide range of firms. The most active sector to receive investment has been manufacturing. Other key areas include agri-tech, life sciences and transport technologies.

One of the Fund’s latest deals in the East Midlands was a £250K investment in Leicester-based Groovy UK. The wholesale giftware firm creates and sells branded goods, with exclusive UK and European distribution rights via licences with popular blue-chip names, such as Star Wars, Harry Potter, Marvel and Doctor Who. By securing the finance, the firm is to accelerate its growth plans, investing in its product portfolio and licensing agreements.

In the West Midlands, one of the latest deals was a £250k investment in Birmingham-based Rent Chief. The firm which was founded by serial entrepreneurs, Patrick Shuker and Jon Whitmore, is to use the equity finance to launch its online property management platform to the market.

Boosted by initiatives such as the MEIF, finance in the Midlands is becoming more accessible. The latest figures released this week in the British Business Bank’s Equity Tracker report show evidence of an increasing amount of investment being made in the Midlands with 41 per cent of equity finance now secured by companies outside the capital, up 7 per cent since 2017.

The anniversary event which was held at the Leicester Tigers’ Welford Road Stadium was attended by over 150 members of the Midlands business community, as well as Communities Secretary and Ministerial Midlands Engine Champion, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP.

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

“As Midlands Engine Champion in Cabinet, I am determined the Midlands should harness its full potential and be at the heart of an economy that works for everyone. A community where businesses and people can thrive, through well-paid jobs, high standards of living and greater economic growth are at the very core of our ambitions for people in this area.

“An invigorated Midlands Engine is pivotal to our Modern Industrial Strategy. This is why it’s an enormous pleasure to celebrate the contribution the Midlands Engine Investment Fund continues to make in supporting SME businesses to grow, boost the area’s productivity and make the Midlands an even better place to do business.”

Commenting on the milestone, Patrick Magee at the British Business Bank, said:

“The Midlands Engine Investment Fund was set up to address a market gap in finance available to SME’s across the region. Investment can often be crucial in allowing firms to explore emerging opportunities and expand, without it growth stalls.

“By hitting this milestone, only months after passing the £25million mark, we are reaffirming our commitment to Midlands’ businesses, providing much needed investment and helping many fulfil their growth ambitions.

“Through our six fund managers, strong network of LEPs and the private sector, we have fostered a real sense of regional collaboration. This has been pivotal to the success of the MEIF and will continue to play an important role as the Fund achieves new milestones in the future.”

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 debt and equity investment between £25,000 to £2million.

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-

Press contacts:

Tom Bradshaw-Smith, Story Comms

tom@wearestorycomms.com / 07432 460 225

Lewis Thomas, Story Comms

lewis@wearestorycomms.com / 07823 335 659

Lauren Tunnicliffe, Comms Lead MEIF – British Business Bank

Lauren.tunnicliffe@british-business-bank.co.uk/ 07557 205044

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 programme will continue to spend to the end of 2023.
  • The Ministry for Housing, 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 programmes are supporting more than £6.4bn of finance to over 85,000 smaller businesses (as at end of December 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 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.