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NPIF supports £184m of investment across the North in its second year

Date published: 15 March 2019


As it reaches the second anniversary of its launch, the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) is celebrating having directly invested £100m in 385 Northern-based SMEs, in deals that have attracted an additional £84m of investment from the private sector.

The £400m investment fund was launched in 2017 by the British Business Bank using funding from the European Regional Development Fund, HM Government and the European Investment Bank. NPIF forms a key part of the BBB’s activities to help reduce regional funding imbalances and create economic prosperity in the North of England.

Over the last two years, NPIF has worked with 10 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), Combined Authorities, local accountants, fund managers and banks to provide both debt and equity finance to SMEs across the North West, Yorkshire & Humber and Tees Valley regions.

The funding has enabled businesses to scale up through product launches, expansion into new markets and investment in staff and infrastructure. NPIF offers various funding options, including microfinance solutions between £25,000 and £100,000, debt finance between £100,000 and £750,000, or equity finance up to £2m.

Recent NPIF investments include:

  • NPIF – Maven Equity Finance provided £150,000 to cloud-based project management system, Collabor8Online, which is based in Manchester. The investment will be used to enable new product development and support the expansion of the company’s senior management and sales teams.
  • NPIF – FW Capital Debt Finance provided £150,000 to Yellow Label Designs Ltd, which, from its Cheshire headquarter, specialises in providing modern and original designs for the UK and international soft furnishings textile industries. The investment will be used to grow the company through increased sales abroad.
  • NPIF – FW Capital Debt Finance provided £250,000 to My Fish Company, a Fleetwood-based independent wholesale supplier of fish and seafood to businesses across the North West. The funding will be used to create 10 jobs over the next three years, as well as aid investment in new software and new premises.
  • NPIF – MSIF Microfinance invested £50,000 in CSols Labs Ltd, a powerful laboratory software solutions company which has been designed to improve laboratory efficiency, reduce laboratory costs, turnaround times and transcription errors. Funds obtained from MSIF have been used by the Liverpool City region-based business towards start-up costs and branding, salaries and overheads.

Jake Berry MP, Northern Powerhouse Minister, said: “The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund plays a vital role in supporting businesses to grow, innovate, create new jobs and boost skills across the Northern Powerhouse. The investments so far demonstrate what can be achieved when the Government works hand-in-hand with both the private and public sectors to support businesses and communities to thrive.”

Kelly Tolhurst, Small Business Minister, said: “Having been a small business owner myself I recognise the importance of giving businesses the right tools to succeed, which is why I’m delighted to welcome the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund’s milestone and its work with SMEs in the North.”

“Small businesses, wherever they are in the UK, are the backbone of our economy and through our modern Industrial Strategy we are committed to helping the UK remain the best place in the world to start and grow a business.”

Ken Cooper, Managing Director of British Business Bank, said: “We are just two years into this fund’s life but already we can see NPIF having a measurable impact on business growth in the North of England.  Investments from our funds are boosting job creation and unlocking growth potential across a wide spectrum of business opportunities.

“The number of SMEs supported and the amount of investment made has exceeded our original expectations and shows what can be achieved when the British Business Bank, Government, Local Enterprise Partnerships and fund managers work together.  Whilst there is more to do to balance the regional disparities across the country, I am looking forward to our third year, during which NPIF will continue to support established and emerging businesses in the North.”

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.

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