Investment Fund for Northern Ireland Roadshows hailed a great success

Press release 13 March 2024

  • £70million Investment Fund for Northern Ireland (IFNI) will be split between debt and equity support for smaller businesses
  • IFNI will tackle an identified funding gap throughout Northern Ireland
  • Roadshow events reveal access to finance appetite among smaller businesses
  • Several IFNI deals already in the pipeline

With several deals already in the pipeline, the British Business Bank hosted a series of well-attended roadshows in February to highlight the opportunities that exist for smaller businesses with the Investment Fund for Northern Ireland.

The £70million investment fund launched last November with the aim of driving sustainable economic growth, by supporting innovation and creating local opportunities for new and scaling businesses who may have previously struggled to access finance elsewhere.

With both debt and equity finance options available for local entrepreneurs, the fund has been set up to help tackle an identified funding gap throughout Northern Ireland.

Whiterock will manage the debt fund offering loans of £25,000 up to £2million while Clarendon Fund Managers will provide equity stakes in smaller businesses up to £5million.

Throughout February the British Business Bank along with both fund managers hosted a series of roadshow events in Omagh, Derry~Londonderry, Ballymena and Newry to speak directly with local business owners and stakeholders on how the fund can support them.

The roadshows also underlined the Bank’s focus on taking events like these outside Belfast, and into more rural areas, as part of its commitment to levelling up finance opportunities

The Investment Fund for Northern Ireland can be a game changer for smaller businesses and really help them along their growth journey. We know there is a funding gap here and the fund will help address this.

There are already several exciting deals in the pipeline and we are looking forward to making announcements on these shortly. Once business owners start to see details emerge about these deals, they will gain a real understanding of how the fund can help them.

Raising awareness of the fund is vitally important work and that is why we were delighted with the response to the recent roadshows. It was great to see a real appetite across Northern Ireland to engage with the fund and I’m confident many of the relationships started at the roadshows will culminate in more deals.

Mark Sterritt Director, British Business Bank Nations and Regions Investment Funds

The roadshows have already led to a number of positive enquiries.

We are committed to engaging with the business community outside Belfast and these roadshows were the perfect vehicle for doing so. They were really well attended with lots of interest in how IFNI’s Equity Fund can play a role in transforming the growth of smaller businesses right across Northern Ireland.

The roadshows helped us establish a number of new connections and we’ve already seen enquiries coming in on the back of them. There are also several deals in the pipeline and we are looking forward to sharing these in the coming weeks and months.

Brian Cummings Clarendon Fund Managers Investment Director

The roadshows were a great platform to highlight to local businesses just how the Investment Fund for Northern Ireland can support them.

The roadshows were an excellent opportunity to re-engage with our network within the regions and to meet new business owners face to face and explain what the fund can offer.

The attendance at these events was very encouraging and clearly shows the interest in the new fund within the local business community.

Indeed, we have had numerous enquiries as a direct result of these roadshows and are currently working through each of these on a case-by-case basis. We are delighted with this response and expect to be able to announce some of these as the first loans from the fund over the coming weeks.

Neil McCabe Director, Whiterock

The Investment Fund for Northern Ireland is one of a series of Nations and Regions Investment Funds launched by the Bank which will deliver a £1.6 billion commitment of new funding to smaller businesses across the UK.

To find out more and apply for funding, visit


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Notes to editors

About the Investment Fund for Northern Ireland

Operated by the British Business Bank, the Investment Fund for Northern Ireland (IFNI) provides a mix of debt and equity funding. IFNI will offer a range of commercial finance options with debt finance from £25k to £2m and equity investment up to £5 million. It works alongside the various support and funding organisations from across Northern Ireland as well as local intermediaries such as accountants, fund managers and banks, to support Northern Ireland’s smaller businesses at all stages of their development.

The funds in which the IFNI invests are open to businesses with material operations, or planning to open material operations, in all areas of Northern Ireland.

Supported by Nations and Regions Investments Limited, a subsidiary of British Business Bank plc, the Bank is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government. Neither Nations and Regions Investments Limited nor British Business Bank plc are authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).