Midlands Engine: £120m SME debt finance launched for businesses

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The British Business Bank has announced the first wave of its £250m Midlands Engine Investment Fund, with the launch of £120million worth of SME debt finance, in a move designed to provide greater support to the region’s smaller businesses, accelerate economic growth and promote job creation – in line with the Government’s Midlands Engine Strategy.


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The fund’s launch has been marked with the publication of a new report on the current state of the regional economy and funding landscape.

Spotlight: The Midlands Engine Investment Fund, draws on the British Business Bank’s own research together with other publicly-available data. It highlights the opportunities for ambitious, fast-growth businesses across the Midlands Engine area to reach their economic potential.

The report highlights how the MEIF will unlock the potential of the region’s small businesses, while detailing the current economic strengths and parameters of the region:

  • The Midlands economy contributes 13% of the UK’s economic output
  • 14% of all high-growth businesses are located in the region
  • Five-year business survival rate is higher in the East and West Midlands than in London

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund will play a vital role in fuelling regional growth. It is the result of close collaboration between the British Business Bank, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Department for Communities and Local Government and 10 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in the East & South East Midlands and West Midlands. It brings together new and existing funding from Central Government, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), British Business Bank and European Investment Bank (EIB).

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The £120million fund is composed of two separate lots – £30million of small business loans valued at £25,000 to £150,000, as well as £90million of debt finance worth £100,000 to £1.5million. The £120million fund is part of a wider £250million commitment, with further funding to be made available in due course.

Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Midlands Engine Ministerial Champion said:

“The investment fund is a key part of our Midlands Engine Strategy to help create more jobs and boost skills in the region. This financial support will enable local businesses to grow, move in to new markets and boost productivity.”


Patrick Magee, Chief Commercial Officer at the British Business Bank said:

“The MEIF will play a pivotal role in plugging in the gaps currently present in the small business funding landscape, ensuring that all businesses have access to the finance they need to grow. Currently, younger small businesses and those looking to scale up, the very businesses that have the greatest potential for job creation, are more likely to have their applications for external finance rejected. We want to mobilise these businesses, supporting organisations of varying sizes and stages of development across the Midlands.”

For more information on how to access finance from the MEIF and on the nature of funds available, visit the MEIF Website. The British Business Bank’s latest Spotlight Report, which provides an overview of the Midlands business landscape can be found here.
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.

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Councillor Sam Webster, Nottingham City Council Portfolio Holder for Business, Education and Skills has commented on what this means for businesses, growth and job creation in Nottingham:

“This is really important news for businesses in Nottingham and Nottingham City Council fully supports the Midlands Engine in its launch today of these new and vital funding opportunities.

Loxley House Nottingham City Council

“Nottingham has long been known for its ambitious communities of emerging and established small businesses which innovate and thrive in the city’s well-connected and vibrant economy. We firmly believe that this funding will support these hard working businesses to develop, expand into new markets, grow economically and continue to make a fundamental contribution to job creation in the city.

“Over the coming months, Business Advisors from Nottingham City Council will be working hard to promote these funding opportunities to Nottingham businesses through social media and their own business networks. In preparation for this, the Growth Hub team will be holding breakfast events in September and October aimed at financial intermediaries who will play a key role in promoting and administering these opportunities to Nottingham businesses.

“I welcome this news today and would highly recommend that established small businesses and entrepreneurs in Nottingham who are looking for opportunities to start up or grow their interests make full use of the support and funding available.”