Powerhouse fund launched

Local Government Minister Andrew Percy
Local Government Minister Andrew Percy
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Small and medium-sized businesses in the North West could be set to benefit from the new £400m Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund from the Business Bank.

The money, which includes £184m from the he European Investment Bank, is designed to boost the North of England’s economy and helping the region’s businesses realise their growth potential.

The region has enormous untapped economic potential that can be realised by improved funding options

Details for Lancashire will be given at a county launch for the fund on March 17 at Brockholes, near Preston.

Based in Sheffield, the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund will work with 10 Local Enterprise Partnerships, combined authorities and growth hubs, as well as local accountants, fund managers and banks, to provide a mixture of debt and equity capital.

It will provide cash to fund managers who will offer Microfinance (£25,000 - £100,000), Business Loans (£100,000 - £750,000) and Equity Finance (up to £2m).

Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank vice president, said: “The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund will unlock the unparalleled innovation, talent and entrepreneurial spirit of the North and build on the world class strengths of the region.”

Andrew Percy, Northern Powerhouse Minister, said: “Our efforts to build the Northern Powerhouse are delivering real results for local people, with over one million businesses involved, foreign direct investment up by a quarter and 187,000 jobs created in the past year alone.

“This dedicated £400m will help us go even further, supporting smaller businesses across the region to reach their full potential and helping to create an economy that works for everyone.”

Keith Morgan, CEO at British Business Bank, said: “The North of England has a long and proud history of driving global innovation and economic progress. The region has more high-growth businesses than London and, at close to one fifth of UK GDP, is larger than the economies of Greece, Denmark, Austria and Belgium.

“The region has enormous untapped economic potential that can be realised by improved funding options.”

and opportunities. The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund represents a co-ordinated policy approach to help realise this potential across the North.”