Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund celebrates strong start to the year with £50m milestone

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) has invested more than £50m across the Northern Powerhouse region, supporting over 260 small and medium growing companies.

The significant achievement was announced by Ken Cooper, Managing Director, Venture Solutions at the British Business Bank as he spoke to investee businesses, key stakeholders, partners and fund managers at NPIF’s one-year anniversary event in Leeds.

The £400m Fund, which is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, HM Government, and the European Investment Bank, was launched by the British Business Bank as a key part of the government’s ‘Northern Powerhouse’ vision, which aims to create economic prosperity in the North of England.

To date, NPIF investment – provided through appointed fund managers – has already supported Northern-based SMEs across a range of sectors. The funding has been used to launch new products, employ new staff, enter new markets and launch new facilities. Recent deals include:

  • A £250,000 investment from NPIF – Maven Equity Finance into Preston-based eOrigen, a digital media production company producing award winning training and educational content. The investment, facilitated by Maven Capital Partners, will support the firm’s aim to be at the forefront of digital learning by  assisting with research and development of emerging technologies and learning innovations.
  • Leeds-based photography company Powerhouse, whose clients include major supermarkets and food producers, received a £250,000 investment from NPIF – Mercia Debt Finance. This has enabled the company to purchase and fit out new premises which they will be moving into imminently.
  • A £125,000 investment made by NPIF – FW Capital Debt Finance is helping Darlington-based craft supplier and manufacturer Debbi Moore Designs Ltd on its industry-leading position to break into the lucrative US market and create four jobs in Tees Valley.
  • Cheshire-based CSols Labs Ltd, which develops software for the international laboratory instrument industry, received a £50,000 loan from NPIF – BFS & MSIF Microfinance. The finance, delivered by MSIF, will provide the business with the working capital needed to develop two innovative software products set to disrupt the analytical laboratory market.

Speaking at NPIF’s one-year anniversary event, Ken Cooper, Managing Director at British Business Bank, said: “NPIF investments have impacted all corners of the Northern Powerhouse area, unlocking finance for businesses across the North West, Yorkshire and the Humber and the Tees Valley. With deals ranging from a design, engineering and project management business in Grimsby to a cheese maker in Cumbria and advanced manufacturing businesses in Hull and Liverpool.

“The success of NPIF has played a key role in our regional agenda of tackling historic regional disparities in funding, not just here in the Northern Powerhouse region but we have been able to build on the successful model used here to develop funds in the Midlands, through the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) which we launched in February, and we will soon be launching a fund for Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Fund.”

Roger Marsh, OBE, Chairman of the NPIF SOB and Chair of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) said: “It’s really great news that the NPIF has invested over £50 million so far, supporting growing businesses and boosting the economy as a result.  As NPIF celebrates its first anniversary this week I am delighted that we have hit this investment millstone and that businesses across the region and North are benefiting.”

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund 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. The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is delivered by The British Business Bank.

The Northern Powerhouse 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.

For more information about Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, please visit


Press contact:

Christina Ong, MC2

0161 236 1352 

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