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 Lancashire.

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 Lancashire business already benefiting from NPIF investment is recruitment agency Fresh Perspective Resourcing. The business was founded by sisters Emily and Laura with the aim to create a ‘fresh perspective’ in the recruitment industry. The business guarantees to fill every vacancy they take on and charge clients for time rather than percentage placement fees. NPIF investment aided the business in keeping its staff fully employed during the pandemic, allowing the team to focus on growing the business and trading effectively.

Laura Leyland, Founder and Managing Director of Fresh Perspective Resourcing said:

“The NPIF investment allowed us to continue the work we do and acted as a safety net for the business. It meant we could turn our attention to what matters most – and creating new content to push our visibility and grow the business.”

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.

For more news, click here.
Published On: March 21st, 2024
Northern Powerhouse