Treasury injects £ 400million into next generation Midlands Engine Investment Fund to help region’s SMEs
The Treasury is investing Â£ 400million in the next generation of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF), bringing the total amount of investment available to SMEs in the region to over Â£ 700million.
The government has said it represents a significant commitment to supporting access to finance in the Midlands – a region it says has suffered from market failures.
This next generation of MEIF – issued by the British Business Bank – will provide “large-scale growth capital” through a combination of debt and equity available to businesses in the region.
The government has said that an additional Â£ 50million has been allocated to the current MEIF program to bring it to Â£ 300million, ensuring continued funding while the next generation of MEIF is online.
The existing regional funds have been operational since 2017 and have been set up to help fill market gaps in access to finance and support regional economic growth, through employment, worker development and training. helps businesses grow.
In 2020, the Midlands Engine Investment Fund was responsible for 25% of all equity transactions in the Midlands.
The current MEIF fund has invested Â£ 142million in Midlands SMEs since its launch in 2017.
Its investments have helped leverage an additional Â£ 150million of private sector funds into these businesses and are expected to create more than 3,800 jobs.
British Business Bank Managing Director Catherine Lewis La Torre said: âThe Chancellor’s announcement is a clear and welcome demonstration of support for the Midlands’ most ambitious and innovative businesses and for MEIF’s success to date.
âSince its launch in 2017, MEIF has helped more than 460 companies invest, innovate, grow and create jobs.
âThere is a strong sense of momentum and ambition in the Midlands right now.
âBusinesses in the region are looking to come back stronger and move forward with plans for growth. These funds will continue to support innovation, expansion and the creation of high value-added jobs.
Midlands Engine Chairman Sir John Peace said: âI am delighted that the government has committed this significant level of investment to support the growth of Midlands businesses, especially the growth of SMEs in our region.
âSMEs are the backbone of our vibrant Midlands economy – and for too long there have been barriers to accessing adequate finance for the growth of ambitious businesses.
âWe are a region of truly ambitious entrepreneurs and companies – who can and do compete on the world stage, while providing high quality jobs and the products and services our country needs.
âAs we seek to build an ever stronger UK economy and to act with power in global markets, access to financial support for development and innovation, and for expansion, including conquering new markets, is essential.
âMidland businesses are poised to accelerate our economic growth, given the tools they need – and in fact, they are already having a tangible impact and driving the recovery.
âFunding for growth is simply essential, which is why I am pleased to see the government supporting our business community with the confirmation of this investment today. “
The next generation of MEIF is a key part of the government’s commitment to upgrade the UK economy and overcome regional imbalances, especially in access to finance for SMEs.
Working with Midlands Engine, West Midlands Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnerships, fund managers and the business community, MEIF will continue to expand the financing options and opportunities available to Midlands businesses.