British Business Bank increases Shire Leasing’s total ENABLE Funding commitment to £99.8m with second facility

The British Business Bank today announces a further £62.4m of financing to Shire Leasing under its ENABLE Funding programme, which aims to improve the supply of finance solutions to smaller UK businesses for business–critical assets.

The transaction follows on from a first round of funding of £37.4m in 2017 – bringing the overall amount of money under the ENABLE Funding programme awarded to £99.8m.

Alongside £6.6m of mezzanine funding provided in 2017 by British Business Investments, a commercial subsidiary of the Bank, it brings the total support provided to Shire to £106.4m.

The financing will aid Shire Leasing in delivering in excess of £150m to help smaller businesses with cash flow, recovery, growth, and investment plans.

Launched in 2014, the ENABLE Funding programme supports the Bank’s objective to diversify finance markets for smaller UK businesses. Providers of finance to SMEs often lack the scale required to access capital markets – a key source of funding for lending institutions – in a cost-efficient manner. The ENABLE Funding programme warehouses newly-originated finance receivables from different originators, bringing them together into a new structure. Once the structure has sufficient scale, it will refinance a portion of its funding on the capital markets, helping small finance providers to tap into institutional investors’ funds.

Helen Lumb, Chief Financial Officer of Shire Leasing, said: “Our partnership with British Business Bank allows us to grow and diversify our funding base. Our journey to achieve this increased facility shows, even during times of calamity, that Shire are continuously working with our strategic partners to make alternative lines of finance more readily available for businesses.

“This latest credit line under the ENABLE Funding programme comes at a vital time for our economy, enhancing our ability to support UK SMEs across all business sectors in accessing the finance required to recover, thrive, and grow affordably.”

By utilising the ENABLE Funding, Shire has been able to expand into new markets and deliver finance solutions through non-conventional methods. In 2020, Shire Leasing was appointed as a funder on the UK’s first Clean Air Zone (CAZ) Financial Assistance Scheme, providing businesses impacted by the Bath and North East Somerset Council CAZ with direct financial support in the form of grants and/or interest-free financing to accelerate investment in low/no emission vehicles. Since funding the first vehicle on the scheme in January 2021, Shire continues to place CAZ agreements on its own book, with the majority of these secured by the ENABLE Funding programme.

Reinald de Monchy, Managing Director, Guarantee and Wholesale Solutions of the British Business Bank, said: “Smaller businesses in the UK are affected by a funding gap as many traditional providers provide cost efficient financing to only a relatively small percentage of firms. By partnering with alternative and non-bank lenders, like Shire Leasing, we can give smaller UK businesses access to the asset and lease finance they need. The Bank remains committed to its objective to create a more diverse finance market, and we look forward to continuing to work with Shire Leasing and other non-banks to help provide even more funding options to smaller businesses across the UK.”


Notes to editors:

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 drive sustainable growth and prosperity across the UK, and to enable the transition to a net zero economy, by improving access to finance for smaller businesses. 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’s core programmes support over £7.9bn[1] of finance to more than 93,000 smaller businesses[2]. Between March 2020 and March 2021, the British Business Bank was responsible for running the government’s Coronavirus business loan schemes, delivering more than £79bn of finance to over 1.67m businesses.

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 British Business Bank Finance Hub provides independent and impartial information to businesses about their finance options, featuring short films, expert guides, checklists and articles from finance providers to help make their application a success. In light of the coronavirus pandemic and EU Exit, the Finance Hub has expanded and it now targets a wider business audience. It continues to provide information and support for scale-up, high growth and potential high growth businesses, but now provides increased content, information and products for businesses in survival and recovery mindsets. The Finance Hub has been redesigned and repositioned to reflect this, during this period of economic uncertainty.

British Business Bank plc is a public limited company registered in England and Wales, registration number 08616013, registered office at Steel City House, West Street, Sheffield, S1 2GQ. It is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government. British Business Bank plc and its subsidiaries are not banking institutions and do not operate as such. They are not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). A complete legal structure chart for the group can be found at

The investment from the British Business Bank to Shire Leasing does not amount to any endorsement or warranty from the British Business Bank, the British Business Bank plc, or the government of the UK.

The ENABLE Funding programme is managed by British Business Financial Services Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of British Business Bank plc, on behalf of, and with the financial backing of, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

About Shire Leasing

Shire Leasing plc (Shire) was founded by two cousins, John Worton and Martin Smith, in 1990 and is one of the UK’s largest privately owned independent funding houses, specialising in small ticket leasing of business critical equipment. Based in Tamworth Staffordshire, Shire has won awards for its diverse workforce of 170+ employees, its innovative products and as Top Independent Lessor of the Year by Leasing World in 2019.

Shire provides the full range of lease-based services tailored to fund the majority of business assets, allowing UK SMEs to take control of their cash flow by acquiring assets through small, regular payments on a fixed interest basis. Priding itself on customer centricity, Shire recognises the unique nature of every business model when matching financial solutions to a business. Its primary objective is to facilitate cost-effective business growth and development for SMEs across the UK.

Building long-lasting relationships is a key value for Shire, and this is manifest in numerous long term relationships with investors, vendor partners and hirers alike. This multifaceted approach, which includes working alongside equipment vendors who in turn offer finance options to their customers, has been a winning formula and has resulted in over 66,000 UK SMEs being financially supported by Shire.

More information on how Shire delivers flexible funding solutions for British businesses can be found on the Shire Leasing website.

[1] Figures as at 31 December 2020

[2] Figures as at 31 December 2020