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£660m Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund II to supercharge small businesses in Liverpool

The British Business Bank has launched its new Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund II (NPIF II), a £660m fund set to cover the entire North of England. The Fund will continue to be available for businesses operating in Liverpool City Region.

Since the launch of the first Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund in 2017, it has delivered over £570m of direct and private sector co-investment into 608 businesses in the North West, creating close to 3,500 jobs.

Aiming to build on the success of the initial fund, which facilitated over £1 billion of direct and private sector co-investment across the North, the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund II will enable businesses to access the Fund to start up, scale up or continue on their growth journey. NPIF II will drive sustainable economic growth by supporting innovation and creating local opportunity for new and growing businesses.

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund II will increase the supply and diversity of early-stage finance for Northern smaller businesses, providing funds to firms that might otherwise not receive investment and help to break down barriers in access to finance.

Three fund managers have been appointed to manage the fund in the North West. GC Business Finance & River Capital will manage the smaller loans part of the fund (£25,000 to £100,000), FW Capital will be responsible for larger loans (£100,000 to £2 million) and Praetura Ventures will manage equity deals (up to £5 million).

A Liverpool business already benefiting from NPIF investment is Stratton Tea, an ethical beverage and spice distributor. The business draws on a family legacy spanning over 75 years in the tea industry, and after over a decade of experience working in the industry, its founder, Razi Khan, was able to take Stratton Tea to international heights. The investment has bolstered equipment purchases and the creation of pivotal roles within the company, paving the way for an exciting expansion phase.

Razi Khan, Director at Statton Tea said:

“My vision is to transform consumers into responsible drinkers of high quality and sustainably sourced tea. NPIF investment has helped us take the next step towards this as we grow the business, and it has played an important role in supporting us.”

Southport-based precision engineering group, Lattimer Group, is using its NPIF investment to support the firm’s growth trajectory as it expands to meet evolving demands. This will strengthen its position as a leading specialist in the design and manufacture of branded component parts for the glass container manufacturing industry.

Carl Stead, Finance Director at Lattimer Group said:

“NPIF investment is helping us to invest in the future of the business as we move forward, giving us the working capital, we need. The team has been really helpful and are genuinely interested in helping our business flourish.”

Louis Taylor, Chief Executive of the British Business Bank, said:

“The success of the first Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund has proven the instrumental change that access to finance can have for small businesses. From creating hundreds of jobs to developing ground-breaking products, we have seen companies that previously lacked funding options accelerate forward in their growth journeys, which has ultimately benefitted the whole of the Northern economy.

“This is why it was important to continue the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund into its next phase. With further funding available, and a greater geographical reach in the North West, the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund II will engage more stakeholders across the regions, bringing the business community closer together to create more opportunities for entrepreneurs everywhere.”

Kevin Hollinrake MP, Minister of State for Enterprise, Markets, and Small Business, said:

“This new fund will unlock millions in equity and loans for SMEs across the North to realise their full potential and builds upon British Business Bank’s vital work ensuring that any small business owner in the UK can scale up and grow.

“SMEs are the engines of growth for our economy and across government we are improving access to finance, cutting red tape and removing barriers to ensure that they can go further and faster than ever before.”

Following today’s official launch in Leeds, the British Business Bank will be holding a a roadshow of events for small business finance intermediaries across the region to learn more about the Fund. Destinations include Newcastle (18th April); Manchester (24th April), Sheffield (30th April).

Further dates for roadshow events in Liverpool, Hull, Lancashire, Tees Valley, York, Cheshire, Durham, Cumbria and Northumberland will be announced shortly.

Applications for funding are made directly to the relevant fund managers who can be contacted via the NPIF II webpage