£400m from Chancellor for Midlands Engine Investment Fund

Date posted: October 28, 2021
Politicians stand outside downing street, Rishi Sunak holds a red suitcase up

Businesses in the Midlands are set to benefit from the next generation of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) thanks to a £400 million allocation from the Chancellor, to be delivered by the British Business Bank.

An additional £50 million will be allocated to the current MEIF to ensure a continuous stream of funding while the next generation of the fund becomes operational.

This brings the total (current plus next generation) for investment in our region’s ambitious firms to over £700 million.

Plus, there is an expectation that Treasury funding will be matched by private sector co-investors to help boost our region’s innovative and high-growth SMEs.

This announcement represents a strong commitment by government to support the levelling up of access to finance in the Midlands.

Highlighting the need, recent data from the Midlands Engine Observatory shows that 32% of Midlands SMEs who applied for credit in Q2 of 2021 had their applications rejected.

Created to nurture entrepreneurship and increase access to finance, the current MEIF has invested £142 million into 648 companies since its launch in 2017.

This funding has been matched by a further £150 million of additional private sector investment and is forecast to create more than 3800 jobs.

The next generation of the MEIF is a key part of government’s commitment to level up and overcome regional imbalances in the business landscape and the British Business Bank will continue to work with a variety of regional partners, including the Midlands Engine, local enterprise partnerships, West Midlands Combined Authority and the business community, to broaden business funding options.

Commenting on the Chancellor’s announcement, Sir John Peace, Chairman, Midlands Engine said:

We are delighted that the government has continued to recognise the important role that access to finance for growth plays, in powering SMEs in every part of our region, through its expanded commitment to the Midlands Engine Investment Fund.

Research from the Midlands Engine Observatory, working together with the British Business Bank, has demonstrated a clear case of need – and we are pleased this has been acknowledged by government with this announcement – reflecting an important step forward in our goal to level up every part of our region.

Rachael Greenwood, Executive Director, Midlands Engine said:

We look forward to working jointly with the British Business Bank in the months and years ahead as we collaborate to ensure as many businesses as possible benefit strongly from growth capital.

We are grateful to colleagues from the British Business Bank who have kept the needs of our region in sharp focus as they have worked to secure this important mechanism for future SME growth across the Midlands Engine.

Catherine Lewis La Torre, Chief Executive, British Business Bank, said:

The Chancellor’s announcement is a clear and welcome show of support for the Midlands’ most ambitious and innovative businesses and the success of the MEIF to date. Since launching in 2017, the MEIF has helped more than 460 businesses invest, innovate, grow and create jobs.

There is a strong sense of momentum and ambition in the Midlands right now. The region’s businesses are looking to come back stronger and push forward with growth plans. These funds will continue to support innovation, expansion and the creation of high-value jobs.

Read the full press release.

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