Launch of Midlands Engine Investment Fund II provides £400m boost for small businesses

Press release 29 February 2024

  • The Midlands Engine Investment Fund II will deliver a £400m commitment of new funding for smaller businesses
  • The fund will build on the success of the first Midlands Engine Investment Fund and support access to early-stage finance
  • 739 smaller business have already been supported by the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, creating over 4,000 jobs in the Midlands

The British Business Bank is launching its £400 million Midlands Engine Investment Fund II today, unlocking additional funding to help smaller businesses in the Midlands prosper and thrive.

The fund will drive sustainable economic growth by supporting new and growing businesses across the whole of the Midlands, through investment strategies that best meet the needs of these firms. It includes a range of finance options with loans from £25,000 to £2 million and equity investments up to £5 million to help small and medium-sized businesses start up, scale up, or stay ahead.

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund II aims to build on the success of the inaugural Midlands Engine Investment Fund, a £300m fund which has already supported 739 smaller businesses since its launch in 2017. The new fund will help hundreds more businesses to achieve their potential and further increase the supply and diversity of early-stage finance by providing options to firms that might otherwise be unable to secure investment. Funding is designed to help smaller businesses with activities including expansion, product or service innovation, new processes, skills development and capital equipment.

Five fund managers have been appointed to manage the fund. BCRS Business Loans and First Enterprise – Enterprise Loans will manage the smaller loans part of the fund (£25,000 to £100,000), Frontier Development Capital and Maven Capital Partners will be responsible for larger loans (£100,000 to £2 million) and Mercia Ventures will manage equity deals (up to £5 million).

Louis Taylor, Chief Executive Officer, British Business Bank said:

Small businesses are at the heart of The Midlands’ economy. Since launching in 2017, the first Midlands Engine Investment Fund has so far created more than 4,000 jobs across the region by backing 739 smaller businesses.

The first Midlands Engine Investment Fund provided a blueprint for how we can support entrepreneurs and founders, whoever they are and wherever they are in the region, to access the funds and support they need. This new fund will allow us to continue supporting business owners across the Midlands, whether they’re at the start of their journey or are already running an established firm.

Promoting growth by ensuring entrepreneurs can access the finance they need regardless of where and who they are is one of the Bank’s strategic objectives, and vital to unlocking the full potential of the UK’s smaller businesses.

Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Gareth Davies MP said:

Small businesses are the engine of the economy, which is why having access to funding like this is vital to help them thrive and grow, creating jobs and spreading opportunity everywhere.

As the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, the Midlands propelled the UK into a new era of technological and economic growth and now the next generation of entrepreneurs will have the support they need to continue this success.

Warners, an award-winning distillery based in Northamptonshire, received £1.5m worth of funding from the first Midlands Engine Investment Fund in 2023.

Tina Warner-Keogh, co-founder and co-CEO, Warners, said:

It’s been a difficult few years to be a business owner. The support offered by the Midlands Engine Investment Fund allowed us to grow our business in a way that wouldn’t have been possible without external funding.

The funding has enabled us to continue on our mission to save the world from mediocre drinks whilst helping to save the planet, one sip at a time! We’ve strengthened our team, driven market leading innovation in the drinks space, developed our production capabilities and are delivering on our growth plan objectives which has seen us launch into the USA with a fantastic partner.

We’re a Midlands based family business and our region has always championed its entrepreneurs – I’m so proud to be one of them and am delighted that there will be more investment in the region.

Following today’s launch, the British Business Bank will be holding a series of information roadshows aimed at people working with smaller businesses including enterprise agencies, advisors, accountants, law firms and more. The first of these sessions will be held in Lincoln on 11th March 2024, with additional sessions held in Leicester, Wolverhampton and Coventry, with further locations planned for April and May 2024.

Further Information

To find out more and apply for funding, visit

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British Business Bank


Notes to editors

About the Midlands Engine Investment Fund II

Operated by the British Business Bank, the Midlands Engine Investment Fund II provides a mix of debt and equity funding. The Midlands Engine Investment Fund II will offer a range of commercial finance options with smaller loans from £25k to £100k, debt finance from £100k to £2m and equity investment up to £5 million. It works alongside the various support and funding organisations from UK Government as well as local intermediaries such as accountants, fund managers and banks, to support the Midlands’ smaller businesses at all stages of their development.

The funds in which the Midlands Engine Investment Fund II invests are open to businesses with material operations, or planning to open material operations, in all areas of the Midlands. 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).