Midlands Engine Investment Fund has helped create more than 2,370 jobs in the region, fuelling growth and innovation
Midlands Engine Investment Fund has helped create more than 2,370 jobs in the region, fuelling growth and innovation.
- Two in five backed businesses secured follow-on funding estimated to reach around £65 million to fuel further growth
- Three quarters (74%) launched new products or services contributing to a £73 million regional boost from sales
- 59% of businesses supported by the Midlands Engine Investment Fund say it helped them avoid closure in challenging time
- MEIF has helped create more than 2,370 jobs in the region since 2017¹
The Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) is helping create more jobs, more regional investment, more innovation and new products and services while reducing carbon emissions among small to medium sized businesses across the Midlands.
These are the key findings of an evaluation commissioned by the British Business Bank from independent research consultancy SQW.
Fuelling growth and innovation
Businesses funded by the MEIF have a strong track record of growth, with 41% of those backed going on to secure follow-on funding from other lenders. This additional funding is estimated to be worth around £65 million.
In a region famed for innovation, the majority of businesses used their funding to launch new products or services. Half (48%) of these were expected to reduce carbon emissions – supporting wider net zero targets.
This focus on innovation has delivered – with more than two thirds (71%) of backed firms recording an increase in sales – resulting in a regional economy boost of nearly £200 million. Furthermore a third (32%) increased exports as a result of receiving funding.
Three-fifths of businesses supported by investment from the MEIF say it helped them avoid closure during a challenging few years for business. Nine in ten (87%) of the businesses backed by the fund also report being more resilient as a result of its funding.
Since launching in 2017, the fund has supported the creation of more than 2,370 jobs across 595 businesses. Almost three quarters (73%) of firms supported by MEIF increased their headcount.
Further cementing the region’s reputation for innovation, a third (33%) of roles created were in R&D (research and development). Four in every ten roles (41%) were in the top 25% of UK salaries (over £37.8k).
Small Business Minister Kevin Hollinrake said:
“This research shows how valuable the government-backed Investment Fund has been to small businesses in the Midlands, especially in terms of business growth, innovation, and jobs.
“Alongside billions of pounds of energy bill and business rates relief, this investment fund is part of the government’s wider support for small British businesses to ensure they succeed and grow.”
Ken Cooper, Managing Director at the British Business Bank, said:
“The aim of the British Business Bank’s regional initiatives is to enable growth across all parts of the UK, and this latest assessment of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund and its impact demonstrates how it is making a positive impact, creating jobs and opportunity for the Midlands.
The findings show that Midlands Engine Investment Fund often fulfils a vital role in providing funding to businesses that have the potential to become very successful but which may not otherwise secure investment. We have seen many of those businesses go on to access further funding which increases our impact supporting more growth, employment and innovation. There is more to do and Midlands Engine Investment Fund will continue to invest across the Midlands.”
The Midlands Engine 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.
To download the full MEIF Evaluation Report, visit link (PDF, 7MB).
Case studies – MEIF investments
The MEIF has invested £200m into the region’s businesses, with over 856 investments made since 2017, and 595 businesses supported.
Some recent examples of companies it has provided funding for include:
Overview: Electric motorcycle innovator
Location: Coventry – West Midlands
Funding amount: £1m
Funding has supported: Recruitment for engineering roles
Name: Watermark Systems
Overview: Design and manufacturing service provider which supplies pipework installations for the waste energy industry
Location: Derby – East Midlands
Funding amount: £250,000
Funding has supported: Creation of new job roles
For more information or interviews, please contact the MEIF’s media team.
- Funding has helped nine in 10 (87 per cent) of businesses receiving it to become more resilient
- Just under three-fifths (59 per cent) avoided closure thanks to MEIF funding
- Almost three-quarters (74 per cent) of businesses introduced new products or services to the market and just under half of these (48 per cent) of those will contribute to lower carbon emissions
- Almost three-quarters (73 per cent) saw increased headcount and 787 jobs were created
- A third (33 per cent) of these jobs are in research and development and over 1 in 4 (41 per cent) pay in the top quartile of UK salaries (£37.8k)
- Over two-thirds (71 per cent) had seen an increase in sales by a cumulative total of £73 million
- 1 in 3 (32 per cent) had increased exports
¹ Job created figure is based on published data as at November 2022, updated since the March 2022 data used when the report was drafted.
Notes to editors
About the current Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF)
- The Midlands Engine Investment Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund, will invest in Debt Finance, Small Business Loans, Proof of Concept and Equity Finance funds, ranging from £25,000 to £2 million, specifically to help small and medium sized businesses secure the funding they need for growth and development.
- The Midlands Engine 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, the Bank’s 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 Midlands Engine 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.
- The MEIF covers the following LEP areas: Black Country, Coventry & Warwickshire, Greater Birmingham & Solihull, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, The Marches, and Worcestershire in the West Midlands; and Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham & Nottinghamshire (D2N2) Greater Lincolnshire, Leicester and Leicestershire, and South East Midlands in the East Midlands.
- The project is receiving up to £78,550,000 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 Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, 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 gov.uk/european-growth-funding.
- The funds in which Midlands Engine Investment Fund invests are open to businesses with material operations, or planning to open material operations, in, the West Midlands and East & South East Midlands.
- The British Business Bank has published the Business Finance Guide (in partnership with the ICAEW, and a further 21 business and finance organisations). The guide, which impartially sets out the range finance options available to businesses and provides links to support available at a regional level, is available at thebusinessfinanceguide.co.uk/bbb
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.
As well as increasing the supply and diversity of finance for UK smaller businesses through its programmes, the Bank works to raise awareness of finance options available to smaller businesses. The British Business Bank Finance Hub provides independent and impartial information to businesses about finance options, featuring short films, expert guides, checklists and articles from finance providers to help make their application a success.
The British Business Bank is also responsible for administering the government’s three Coronavirus loan schemes and its Future Fund, together responsible for delivering £80.4 billion in finance to 1.67 million businesses. These schemes are now closed to new applications.
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. Wholly owned by HM government, the Bank 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 British Business Bank.
¹ Figures as at end March 2022
² Figures as at end March 2022