Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund announces 100th investment from £400m fund

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) has completed its 100th deal by providing £700,000 worth of equity finance to Microbiosensor Ltd, an innovative diagnostic solutions company.

The investment, facilitated by NPIF – Maven Equity Finance, an NPIF product fund managed by Maven Capital Partners (“Maven”), is a co-investment deal alongside Catapult Cheshire Life Sciences Fund.

Established in 2012, Microbiosensor is a University of Manchester spin-out company which develops disposable point-of-care medical devices for the early diagnosis of microbial infection.

The company’s technology platform, which is initially being targeted at key markets in peritoneal dialysis and urinary tract infection, provides point of care infection diagnosis through a simple colour change in a hand-held device. This unique feature enables patients and physicians to be alerted to escalating infections, allowing more timely and effective targeting of appropriate intervention.

The investment from NPIF, supported by the European Regional Development Fund, will provide essential capital needed to take these products through critical development and clinical trial phases, in order to bring the product to market. The additional funds will allow the business to build intellectual property, execute its growth strategy and create value.

Dr Gordon Barker, CEO of Microbiosensor, said: “We’re delighted to be working with the team at Maven. The NPIF investment will be transformational for the company, funding the pivotal clinical trials we need to take our first medical device product to market.”

Gavin Bell, Investment Manager at Maven, said: “Microbiosensor is developing innovative solutions for large global healthcare end-markets with interesting dynamics, including a clear need for technological enhancement and efficiencies. We are delighted to support this highly skilled management team to execute their growth strategy and vision.”

Minister for the Northern Powerhouse, Jake Berry, added: “The 100th investment into Microbiosensor will not only go towards bringing life-changing medical devices to the UK market, it will work to boost the North’s reputation as a global leader in cutting edge medical research and help grow the Northern Powerhouse into a global beating brand.”

Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) who also chairs the NPIF Strategic Oversight Board, said: “I’m very pleased that the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund has reached this important milestone. The Fund is making a significant difference to businesses across the North, helping them grow, create jobs and boost the UK’s overall competitiveness and productivity. There are many fantastic, innovative businesses like Microbiosensor across the North and this is just the beginning of what those businesses can achieve with the right support and investment.”

Ken Cooper, Managing Director at British Business Bank, said: “Reaching this milestone so soon is a fantastic achievement and underlines that the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is active and making a difference to small businesses in the North. This success reflects the hard work done to establish the funds by our fund managers and the other partners that we work with.

“The businesses supported reflect the foundation of the region’s future growth and we look forward to continuing to support the funding needs of business like them across the Northern Powerhouse region.”

Delivered by the British Business Bank, NPIF provides microloans, debt and equity investments, ranging from £25,000 to £2m to help a range of small and medium sized businesses to start up, scale up or stay ahead.

NPIF 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.

For more information about Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, please visit


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About the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund

  • The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund will invest in Microfinance, Business Loans and Equity Finance sub-funds which will offer financing ranging from £25,000 to £2m, specifically to help small and medium sized businesses secure the funding they need for growth and development.
  • The Northern Powerhouse 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, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity,
  • The Northern Powerhouse 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.
  • NPIF covers the following LEP areas: Tees Valley Combined Authority, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Warrington, Cumbria, Liverpool City Region, Lancashire, Humber, Leeds City Region, Sheffield City Region, York, North Yorkshire and East Riding
  • The project is receiving up to £140,359,192 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 Communities and Local Government 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
  • The funds in which Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund invests are open to businesses with material operations, or planning to open material operations, in, Yorkshire and the Humber, the North West and Tees Valley.
  • 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

British Business Bank plc is a limited company registered in England and Wales, registration number 08616013, registered office at Foundry House, 3 Millsands, Sheffield, S3 8NH. 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.

British Business Financial Services Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of British Business Bank plc, registered in England and Wales, registration number 09174621, registered office at Foundry House, 3 Millsands, Sheffield, S3 8NH.  It is not authorised or regulated by the PRA or 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.