Industrial Strategy showcases increased role of the British Business Bank to help finance UK innovation

Press release 28 November 2017

The Government today unveiled its Industrial Strategy, designed to boost productivity across the UK. Within the wide-reaching strategy, it outlines the important role the British Business Bank will play in helping Government address regional imbalances in small business funding and ensure businesses in future sectors are given every chance to access finance, grow and thrive.

The Industrial Strategy outlined plans to promote investment in all parts of the country by rolling out a new network of British Business Bank regional managers by autumn 2018 to ensure businesses across the UK have the know how to access sources of investment. This builds on the Bank’s focus on fostering regional growth and addressing imbalances in finance, through programmes that include the Midlands Engine Investment Fund and The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.

Following on from the Chancellor’s announcement last week, the Industrial Strategy also references the £2.5bn Investment Fund, incubated in the British Business Bank, to make it easier to finance innovation and to ensure the best knowledge-intensive, high-growth businesses get access to the venture capital needed to scale up. This is a key plank of the Government’s plans to drive over £20bn of investment in innovative and high potential businesses and, taken together, the Chancellor’s Budget, the Patient Capital review and the Industrial Strategy, marks an important juncture for the British Business Bank

Whilst the Industrial Strategy represents a wide-ranging approach to boost productivity, the commitments specific to the British Business Bank are:

Regional investment

  • A network of British Business Bank regional managers will be rolled out by Autumn 2018 to ensure businesses across the UK know how to access sources of investment
  • A commercial investment programme run by the British Business Bank will be launched to support developing clusters of business angels outside London

Venture Capital

  • The creation of a new £2.5bn Investment Fund, run by the British Business Bank, which will unlock a total of £7.5bn investment, to help ensure businesses can get access to the capital they need to scale up
  • A series of private sector funds will be established and delivered through the British Business Bank, with a first wave of investment of up to £500m, unlocking double this investment in private capital
  • The British Business Bank’s Enterprise Finance Guarantee will be extended to March 2022 and expanded to support up to £500m of loans a year to help support businesses to get access to debt finance. The Bank will also work with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, businesses, lenders, insurers and the Intellectual Property Office to overcome the barriers facing high growth, intellectual property-rich businesses
  • Ways to tackle barriers faced by female-led businesses in accessing venture capital to be identified through new behavioural research commissioned by the British Business Bank
Following on from last week’s Budget, which announced that the British Business Bank would be given £2.5bn of extra resources to help support £13bn of long term patient capital for ambitious businesses aiming to scale up, we look forward to playing a key role in the government’s new Industrial Strategy, announced today. In the regions, we are already responsible for funds supporting £650m of finance for the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine areas, and will shortly be launching a similar fund for Cornwall and Isles of Scilly. Making sure that finance reaches smaller businesses across all regions of the UK is important to delivering widespread growth. By putting in place a new network of regional managers, we will further address regional disparities in awareness of – and access to – funding choices for businesses across all regions of the UK. Keith Morgan British Business Bank CEO

Further Information

Notes to editors

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 59,000 smaller businesses and participate in a further £5.8bn finance to small mid-cap businesses (as at year-end 2016-17).

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 bank loans and asset finance, available to smaller businesses.

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.

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