New report shows positive impact of NPIF funding on SMEs in the North
New evidence published today shows that the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) has increased the availability of finance in the region and this is already making a positive impact on performance of those businesses.
The ‘Early Assessment Report’ undertaken by an independent research company (SQW Ltd) found that whilst NPIF is only two years into a 10-year programme, there is already strong evidence of success. The finance has been distributed widely across the NPIF region, and the Fund has successfully engaged with the Local Enterprise Partnerships and other partners and built confidence in accessing finance.
The research shows that NPIF finance has enabled a wide variety of firms to invest in activities that will directly improve their productivity through enhancing skills, increasing research and development and introducing new products and services.
For SMEs that have received finance 70% report increased skill levels in their workforce and over 60% have introduced more efficient processes. Those receiving equity finance are highly likely to have increased investment in R&D (80%) and introduced new products or services (75%).
The resulting improvement in productivity has already started to translate into additional sales, good quality employment and exports. More than 60% of firms reported their sales were higher as a result of accessing finance through NPIF. Furthermore, 75% of firms have increased employment with over 80% of these jobs being above UK median earnings.
The most recent NPIF programme data shows that the Fund has invested £123m into 464 ambitious SMEs across the Northern Powerhouse region to date.
Ken Cooper, Managing Director at British Business Bank, said: “This evaluation report confirms that the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is doing what it set out to do and is making an impact in the Northern Powerhouse region. The fund has performed strongly and after only two years is ahead of profile on all the targets set for it at launch. This has been made possible by the outstanding efforts of all involved, including our stakeholders in the LEPs and the fund management teams we have contracted with.
“This strong performance means that the British Business Bank is able to announce the release of the final £106m tranche of NPIF monies to our fund managers. This funding had been held back in case there were gaps in the fund’s performance but it will now go to bolster the investment potential of the existing funds.”
The Northern Powerhouse 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.
Sophie Calmonson, MC2
0161 236 1352
About the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund
- The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund will invest in Microfinance, Business Loans and Equity Finance sub-funds which will offer financing ranging from £25,000 to £2m, specifically to help small and medium sized businesses secure the funding they need for growth and development.
- The Northern Powerhouse 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 Northern Powerhouse 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.
- NPIF covers the following LEP areas: Tees Valley Combined Authority, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Warrington, Cumbria, Liverpool City Region, Lancashire, Humber, Leeds City Region, Sheffield City Region, York, North Yorkshire and East Riding.
- The project is receiving up to £140,359,192 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 https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.
- The funds in which Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund invests are open to businesses with material operations, or planning to open material operations, in, Yorkshire and the Humber, the North West and Tees Valley.
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 more than £6.6bn of finance to over 89,000 smaller businesses (as at March 2019).
- 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 thebusinessfinanceguide.co.uk/bbb.
- The new British Business Bank Finance Hub provides independent and impartial information to high-growth businesses 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.
- As the holding company of the group operating under the trading name of British Business Bank, British Business Bank plc is wholly owned by HM Government and 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.