The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is providing an additional £10m of microfinance to businesses across the North, through NPIF – BFS & MSIF Microfinance which is managed by GC Business Finance and MSIF, and NPIF – BEF & FFE which is managed by Business Enterprise Fund (BEF) and Finance For Enterprise (FFE).
This additional funding will provide support for businesses across the North West, Yorkshire & Humber, and Tees Valley regions, in addition to the £20m of microfinance funding already provided by NPIF to 345 companies since the launch of the fund.
Microfinance loans range between £25,000 and £100,000 and are designed to provide businesses with funding that can be used for a wide range of purposes. This includes filling gaps in working capital, funding expansion projects, investing in new equipment, leasing commercial premises, hiring new staff and more.
Bespoke Stairlifts, a Huddersfield-based stairlift manufacturer, is one business that has benefitted from NPIF funding. The business received a £100,000 joint investment from NPIF and Finance for Enterprise, with half of the capital delivered through NPIF – BEF & FFE Microfinance. After securing support, the company is planning to invest in a new assembly line to meet demand for its products and create four senior roles in the business to drive growth.
Carlisle-based Bricks in Bloom, a Lego retail business, secured a £75,000 loan from NPIF – BFS & MSIF Microfinance, managed by GC Business Finance in partnership with MSIF. The NPIF loan has provided Bricks in Bloom working capital to ensure they can offer the largest range of Lego in the UK, take on two new members of staff and move to new premises that are four times the size of their existing unit.
Grant Peggie at the British Business Bank, said: “Microfinance has played an important role in the success of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund to date, as it has provided access to finance to businesses for a range of important purposes. This additional funding will have a significant impact across the North and will no doubt enable many small businesses to thrive.”
The fund managers appointed to manage the NPIF Microfinance funds are:
- GC Business Finance – focus on Cheshire & Warrington, Lancashire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester
- MSIF- focus on Liverpool City Region
- Business Enterprise Finance – focus on Tees Valley, York & North Yorkshire, Leeds City Region
- Finance for Enterprise – focus on South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, Hull & East Yorkshire
Matt Robinson, Head of Lending at GC Business Finance, said: “NPIF funding has had a significant positive impact on the northern economy before and during the pandemic, so we are proud to be delivering £5m of new funding from NPIF to SMEs across the North West.
“Economic uncertainty is continuing to affect SMEs across the region, so we’d encourage any eligible business to take advantage of the NPIF – BFS & MSIF Microfinance Fund to create and safeguard jobs and continue to recover and grow their business.”
Sue Chambers Investment Manager at MSIF, said: “NPIF funding continues to provide vital growth capital to those businesses unable to access finance from more conventional sources. We are delighted to have the opportunity to extend the current support available until the end of 2023, as the economy continues to recover from the pandemic. We welcome the opportunity to talk to any business that feels it may benefit from such support”.
Steve Waud, CEO of BEF said: “Investment can play a huge part in a company’s growth, and we’ve seen this repeatedly in the businesses we work with. With this additional funding, we’re delighted to support a wide range of small companies in the Yorkshire, Humber and Tees Valley regions.”
Andrew Austwick, Managing Director of FFE said: “This additional investment from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund will help more businesses across Yorkshire & the Humber and Tees Valley to access the vital funds needed to realise their potential. When businesses prosper, the whole of society benefits. The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund plays a critical role in helping to create and retain skilled jobs within the regional economy, as well as assisting businesses to secure the funds needed to invest, innovate and adapt to a challenging economic climate.”
The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project (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.