The new £400 million Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) highlighted in last month’s WNJ newsletter is up and running in Lancashire with its first deal in the county.
The fund has completed a £250,000 investment in an SME set up six years ago.The loan will allow the company to take on new sales staff and diversify its product range to offer its customers a more extensive line of products.
Capital for business expansion is at the heart of the new fund which has been created to help businesses across the region realise their potential.
Ken Cooper, managing director at British Business Bank, which is delivering the fund, says: “Since its inception, NPIF has provided vital funding to businesses across the North, and this investment marks the first in the Lancashire region.
“It’s great to see highly ambitious companies receiving the working capital they need to expand and realise their potential.”
The fund offers three different options, all designed to plug gaps in the provision of commercially available finance, ranging from £25,000 loans to £2m equity investments.
The first option being offered is microfinance – small business loans of between £25,000 and £100,000, aimed at new or growing businesses to support their working capital needs.
Then there is debt finance – business loans of between £100,000 and £750,000. This support is aimed at early stage or more established businesses that can demonstrate growth potential.
And finally there is equity finance on offer. This early stage and later stage equity funding of between £50,000 and £2m is for established businesses with ambitious plans or large start-ups with high growth potential.
The fund is also stressing that its investment packages are open to a wide range of sectors, from early stage innovative businesses through to manufacturing and creative and digital industries.
NPIF has been set up by the British Business Bank in conjunction with the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and nine other LEPs across the North.
Its main aim is to help businesses become a successful part of the Northern Powerhouse vision being promoted by the government.
Financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the UK government, NPIF aims to provide small and medium businesses with increased flexibility in the types of funding available.
It will work alongside the LEPs and Growth Hubs, as well as local accountants, fund managers and banks, to provide a mix of debt and equity capital to SMEs at all stages in their development.
To discuss any aspects of your business’ growth and funding please contact me on 01772 43000.