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Back to News Sean Hutchinson, Senior Investment Manager at the British Business Bank

14th February 2022

A stronger North powered by business growth


Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund

Sean Hutchinson, Senior Investment Manager at British Business Bank, talks about the importance of building a stronger North, and how the £500m Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is playing a vital role in achieving this goal.

The small business community, whether manufacturers or innovative tech start-ups, are the foundation of the North’s economy. Simply put, they hold the potential for the North’s future economic growth. The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, and its partners have been building a stronger North since launch in 2017, by delivering finance for new and growing businesses, paving the way for Northern economic prosperity.

Delivering for the North

Just recently, NPIF surpassed £300m in direct investment to Northern businesses. More impressive still, alongside this an additional £400m of private sector co-investment has been achieved. The Fund is well on track to hit £1bn in total investment, backing Northern business growth. It’s a significant milestone for NPIF, that launched just under five years ago and there are now countless examples of Northern business that have utilised NPIF finance as a way to forge new opportunities and realise their full potential. By tapping into local networks and sharing knowledge with the wider business community, businesses leaders have become more aware of the value funding can play in unlocking growth.

Northern leaders are conscious of the operating challenges in the years ahead. Fuel, energy, raw materials and transportation costs are increasing, and there are labour shortages across several sectors. However, there is still an abundance of support and tools available to help businesses weather the storm and continue to build a stronger and more efficient North.

Investing in future growth

We are fortunate to have such sectoral strength across the region, with many world-leading businesses across industries such as clean energy generation, advanced manufacturing, science and technology sectors. In turn, these sectors are providing opportunities for the next generation, helping young people to upskill so that they can help drive the next generation of businesses. This is vital to the continued success of the region in the coming years.

In 2021, NPIF was responsible for one deal every working day, which is a testament to the abundance of high potential businesses, and innovative nature of the companies here. By collaborating with our dedicated fund managers, it is by empowering the North to work to its strengths, that we can support the delivery of excellence and create an even greater economic contribution.

There is a wealth of opportunity and potential in the region, and we will continue to work closely with regional stakeholders, fund managers and the small business community to build back better and create a stronger North. Small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy, and the key for a prosperous North and I would urge any business that may be seeking funding to visit as a first point of contact.

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.



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