Frequently Asked Questions

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Last updated 21 March 2024

Answers about the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund II

What is the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund II?

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund II (NPIF II) will deliver a £660m commitment of new funding through investment strategies designed to meet the needs of the businesses in the North of England. NPIF II aims to drive sustainable economic growth by supporting innovation and creating local opportunity for new and growing businesses across the North of England. NPIF II will increase the supply and diversity of early-stage finance for smaller businesses in the North, providing funds to firms that might otherwise not receive investment and help to break down barriers in access to finance.

What is the difference between the first Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund and Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund II?

The first Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund was launched in February 2017 and finished its investment phase in December 2023, having facilitated over £1bn of direct and private sector co-investment. The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund II is the next iteration of the Fund which is larger in size and has been expanded to include the whole of the North East.

The funding option sizes have also been increased with Debt Finance now available up to £2m and Equity Finance now available up to £5m.

Can I apply for finance for a company that previously had funding from NPIF?

Yes, a company who received funding from NPIF can apply for NPIF II finance.

How does NPIF II invest?

NPIF II does not invest directly in businesses. It invests through product funds which are managed by NPIF II’s appointed fund managers. The Fund will offer three commercial finance options with Smaller Loans from £25k to £100k, Debt Finance from £100k to £2m and Equity Finance up to £5 million.

What type of finance does NPIF II offer?

NPIF II will offer three commercial finance options with Smaller Loans from £25k to £100k, Debt Finance from £100k to £2m and Equity Finance up to £5 million.

How do I apply for finance?

Enquiries and applications are made direct to NPIF II’s selected fund managers, full details of which can be viewed here. NPIF II cannot provide financial or business advice to businesses seeking funding and businesses may wish to engage their own accountant or business adviser if application assistance is required.

Where do I need to be based to apply for an NPIF II investment?

NPIF II covers the whole of the North of England, including rural, coastal and urban areas. Investments can be made in businesses that are headquartered in the North or have a significant operating presence there.

What's the difference between NPIF II and high street finance providers?

NPIF II has been designed to help address market failures by increasing the supply and diversity of early-stage finance for UK smaller businesses, providing funds to firms that might otherwise not receive investment. The product funds that NPIF II supports provide commercially focussed funding to businesses across the North. NPIF II’s product funds can invest alone or alongside other funders, and indeed NPIF II fund managers are encouraged to leverage-in additional private capital.

My bank can’t fund the total amount that I need, how can NPIF II help?

NPIF II’s product funds can invest alone or alongside other sources of debt or equity capital where appropriate.

My company has had BBLS/CBILS, can I still apply?

Yes, you can still apply for NPIF funding if your company has received a BBLS or CBILS backed loan.

What funding is not eligible for NPIF II support?

NPIF II will have an inclusive approach, but some eligibility criteria do apply to NPIF II funding and fund managers will be able to advise on suitability.

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Answers about the Midlands Engine Investment Fund II

What is the Midlands Engine Investment Fund II?

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund II (MEIF II) will deliver £400m of new funding through investment strategies that best meet the needs of the businesses across the Midlands. MEIF II is designed to build on the first Midlands Engine Investment Fund and continue to drive sustainable economic growth by supporting innovation and creating opportunities for new and growing businesses across the Midlands.

The fund will increase the supply and diversity of early-stage finance for smaller businesses in the Midlands, providing funds to firms that might otherwise not receive investment and help to break down barriers in access to finance.

How does MEIF II invest?

MEIF II does not invest directly in businesses. It invests through funds which are managed by MEIF II’s appointed fund managers. The Fund will offer three commercial finance options with Smaller Loans from £25k to £100k, Debt Finance from £100k to £2m and Equity Finance up to £5 million.

What type of funding does MEIF II offer?

MEIF II will offer three commercial finance options with Smaller Loans from £25k to £100k, Debt Finance from £100k to £2m and Equity Finance up to £5 million.

How do I apply for funding?

Enquiries and applications are made direct to MEIF II’s selected fund managers, full details of which can be viewed here. MEIF II cannot provide financial or business advice to businesses seeking funding and businesses may wish to engage their own accountant or business adviser if application assistance is required.

Where do I need to be based to apply for a MEIF II investment?

MEIF II covers the whole of the Midlands, including the West Midlands, East Midlands and South West Midlands. Investments can be made in businesses that are headquartered in the Midlands or have a significant operating presence there.

What's the difference between MEIF II and high street finance providers?

MEIF II has been designed to help address market failures by increasing the supply and diversity of early-stage finance for UK smaller businesses, providing funds to firms that might otherwise not receive investment. The funds that make up MEIF II provide commercially focussed funding to businesses across the Midlands. MEIF II’s funds can invest alone or alongside other funders, and indeed MEIF II fund managers are encouraged to leverage-in additional private capital.

My bank can’t fund the total amount that I need, how can MEIF II help?

MEIF II’s product funds can invest alone or alongside other sources of debt or equity capital where appropriate.

What funding is not eligible for MEIF II support?

MEIF II will have an inclusive approach, but some eligibility criteria do apply to MEIF II funding and fund managers will be able to advise on suitability.

Answers about the Investment Fund for Wales

What is the Investment Fund for Wales?

The Investment Fund for Wales (IFW) will deliver a £130m commitment of new funding through investment strategies that best meet the needs of the businesses in Wales. IFW is designed to drive sustainable economic growth by supporting innovation and creating local opportunity for new and growing businesses across Wales. IFW will increase the supply and diversity of early-stage finance for smaller businesses in Wales, providing funds to firms that might otherwise not receive investment and help to break down barriers in access to finance.

How does IFW invest?

IFW does not invest directly in businesses. It invests through product funds which are managed by IFW’s appointed fund managers. The Fund will offer three commercial finance options with Smaller Loans from £25k to £100k, Debt Finance from £100k to £2m and Equity Finance up to £5 million.

What type of funding does IFW offer?

IFW will offer three commercial finance options with Smaller Loans from £25k to £100k, Debt Finance from £100k to £2m and Equity Finance up to £5 million.

How do I apply for funding?

Enquiries and applications are made direct to IFW’s selected fund managers, full details of which can be viewed here. IFW cannot provide financial or business advice to businesses seeking funding and businesses may wish to engage their own accountant or business adviser if application assistance is required.

Where do I need to be based to apply for a IFW investment?

IFW covers the whole of Wales, including rural, coastal and urban areas. Investments can be made in businesses that are headquartered in Wales or have a significant operating presence there.

What's the difference between IFW and high street finance providers?

IFW has been designed to help address market gaps by increasing the supply and diversity of early-stage finance for UK smaller businesses, providing funds to firms that might otherwise not receive investment. The product funds that IFW supports provide commercially focussed funding to businesses across Wales.

My bank can’t fund the total amount that I need, how can IFW help?

IFW’s product funds can invest alone or alongside other funders, and indeed IFW fund managers are encouraged to leverage-in additional private capital.

What funding is not eligible for IFW support?

IFW will have an inclusive approach, but some eligibility criteria do apply to IFW funding and fund managers will be able to advise on suitability.

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Answers about the Investment Fund for Northern Ireland

What is the Investment Fund for Northern Ireland?

The Investment Fund for Northern Ireland (IFNI) will deliver a £70m commitment of new funding through investment strategies that best meet the needs of the businesses in Northern Ireland. IFNI is designed to drive sustainable economic growth by supporting innovation and creating local opportunity for new and growing businesses across Northern Ireland. IFNI will increase the supply and diversity of early-stage finance for smaller businesses in Northern Ireland, providing funds to firms that might otherwise not receive investment and help to break down barriers in access to finance.

How does IFNI invest?

IFNI does not invest directly in businesses. It invests through product funds which are managed by IFNI’s appointed fund managers. The Fund will offer two commercial finance options with Debt Finance from £25k to £2m and Equity Finance up to £5 million.

What type of funding does IFNI offer?

IFNI will offer two commercial finance options with Debt Finance from £25k to £2m and Equity Finance up to £5 million.

How do I apply for funding?

Enquiries and applications are made direct to IFNI’s selected fund managers, full details of which can be viewed here. IFNI cannot provide financial or business advice to businesses seeking funding and businesses may wish to engage their own accountant or business adviser if application assistance is required.

Where do I need to be based to apply for a IFNI investment?

IFNI covers the whole of Northern Ireland, including rural, coastal and urban areas. Investments can be made in businesses that are headquartered in Northern Ireland or have a significant operating presence there.

What's the difference between IFNI and high street finance providers?

IFNI has been designed to help address market failures by increasing the supply and diversity of early-stage finance for UK smaller businesses, providing funds to firms that might otherwise not receive investment. The product funds that IFNI supports provide commercially focussed funding to businesses across Northern Ireland. IFNI’s product funds can invest alone or alongside other funders, and indeed IFNI fund managers are encouraged to leverage-in additional private capital.

My bank can’t fund the total amount that I need, how can IFNI help?

IFNI’s product funds can invest alone or alongside other sources of debt or equity capital where appropriate.

What funding is not eligible for IFNI support?

IFNI will have an inclusive approach, but some eligibility criteria do apply to IFNI funding and fund managers will be able to advise on suitability.

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Answers about the Investment Fund for Scotland

What is the Investment Fund for Scotland?

The Investment Fund for Scotland (IFS) will deliver a £150m commitment of new funding through investment strategies that best meet the needs of the businesses in Scotland. IFS is designed to drive sustainable economic growth by supporting innovation and creating local opportunity for new and growing businesses across Scotland. IFS will increase the supply and diversity of early-stage finance for smaller businesses in Scotland, providing funds to firms that might otherwise not receive investment and help to break down barriers in access to finance.

How does IFS invest?

IFS does not invest directly in businesses. It invests through product funds which are managed by IFS’s appointed fund managers. The Fund will offer three commercial finance options with Smaller Loans from £25k to £100k, Debt Finance from £100k to £2m and Equity Finance up to £5 million.

What type of funding does IFS offer?

IFS will offer three commercial finance options with Smaller Loans from £25k to £100k, Debt Finance from £100k to £2m and Equity Finance up to £5 million.

How do I apply for funding?

Enquiries and applications are made direct to IFS’s selected fund managers, full details of which can be viewed here . IFS cannot provide financial or business advice to businesses seeking funding and businesses may wish to engage their own accountant or business adviser if application assistance is required.

Where do I need to be based to apply for a IFS investment?

IFS covers the whole of Scotland, including rural, coastal and urban areas. Investments can be made in businesses that are headquartered in Scotland or have a significant operating presence there.

What's the difference between IFS and high street finance providers?

IFS has been designed to help address market gaps by increasing the supply and diversity of early-stage finance for UK smaller businesses, providing funds to firms that might otherwise not receive investment. The product funds that IFS supports provide commercially focussed funding to businesses across Scotland. IFS’s product funds can invest alone or alongside other funders, and indeed IFS fund managers are encouraged to leverage-in additional private capital.

My bank can’t fund the total amount that I need, how can IFS help?

IFS’s product funds can invest alone or alongside other sources of debt or equity capital where appropriate.

What funding is not eligible for IFS support?

IFS will have an inclusive approach, but some eligibility criteria do apply to IFS funding and fund managers will be able to advise on suitability.

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Answers about the South West Investment Fund

What is the South West Investment Fund?

The South West Investment Fund (SWIF) will deliver a £200m commitment of new funding through investment strategies that best meet the needs of the businesses in the South West of England (the “South West”). SWIF is designed to drive sustainable economic growth by supporting innovation and creating local opportunity for new and growing businesses across the South West. SWIF will increase the supply and diversity of early-stage finance for South West smaller businesses, providing funds to firms that might otherwise not receive investment and help to break down barriers in access to finance.

How does SWIF invest?

SWIF does not invest directly in businesses. It invests through product funds which are managed by SWIF’s appointed Fund Managers. The Fund will offer three commercial finance options with Smaller Loans from £25k to £100k, Debt Finance from £100k to £2m and Equity Finance up to £5 million.

What type of funding does SWIF offer?

SWIF will offer three commercial finance options with Smaller Loans from £25k to £100k, Debt Finance from £100k to £2m and Equity Finance up to £5 million.

How do I apply for funding?

Enquiries and applications are made direct to SWIF’s selected Fund Managers, full details of which can be viewed here. SWIF cannot provide financial or business advice to businesses seeking funding and businesses may wish to engage their own accountant or business adviser if application assistance is required.

Where do I need to be based to apply for a SWIF investment?

SWIF covers the entire South West region, including Bristol, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire. Investments can be made in businesses that are headquartered in the South West or have a significant operating presence there.

What's the difference between SWIF and high street finance providers?

SWIF has been designed to help address market gaps by increasing the supply and diversity of early-stage finance for UK smaller businesses, providing funds to firms that might otherwise not receive investment. The product funds that SWIF supports provide commercially focussed funding to businesses across the South West. SWIF’s product funds can invest alone or alongside other funders, and indeed SWIF fund managers are encouraged to leverage-in additional private capital.

My bank can’t fund the total amount that I need, how can SWIF help?

SWIF’s product funds can invest alone or alongside other sources of debt or equity capital where appropriate.

What funding is not eligible for SWIF support?

SWIF will have an inclusive approach, but some eligibility criteria do apply to SWIF funding and Fund Managers will be able to advise on suitability.

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