Image caption: Catherine Lewis La Torre, CEO of British Business Bank
14th December 2020
Catherine Lewis La Torre, CEO at British Business Bank, looks at how the £100m NPIF commitment is a boost to northern businesses.
In November’s Spending Review, the Chancellor committed an additional £100m to the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF), bringing the total for investment to over £500m. This is a real boost for businesses in the North and for our Local Enterprise Partnership partners working hard to support them. It also underlines the British Business Bank’s commitment to the Levelling Up agenda, with government making it a strategic priority to ensure investment is going into businesses across the whole of the UK.
The news came as NPIF surpassed the £200m investment mark, backing more than 700 businesses across 957 transactions while facilitating an additional £237m from the private sector. Furthermore, this quarter the Fund hit a £30m milestone in Liverpool City Region and £30m in Lancashire.
It is encouraging to see such milestones being reached during one of the most unpredictable and challenging years in recent history. NPIF has continued to play a central role in providing vital investment to businesses facing disruption.
We have also seen a valuable lifeline with the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), with NPIF Debt and Microfinance fund managers becoming accredited to offer these CBILS-backed loans.
Meanwhile, the NPIF Equity Fund Managers have been actively putting forward existing portfolio companies for co-investment alongside the Future Fund, to support growing innovative smaller businesses in the region. Now, the fund supports almost one in five equity deals across the North.
What has stood out over the course of this year has been the sheer resilience and ability to adapt to new economic restrictions demonstrated by smaller businesses across the North. Whether it has been capital to meet the demand for new products and services, moving into new markets, upskilling existing staff or taking on new staff, businesses have used NPIF to support investment and continued to come together to respond in a positive manner.
As we continue to navigate through the economic turbulence that the pandemic leaves behind, we will continue to work closely with our partners and stakeholders to support smaller businesses across the North and champion those innovating within our communities, both large and small. Our fund managers make that possible, working hard to ensure that NPIF is highly visible to businesses and management teams in all sectors and areas, not just in major conurbations.
NPIF offers various funding options, including microfinance solutions between £25,000 and £100,000, debt finance between £100,000 and £750,000, and equity finance up to £2m.
This £100m boost will enable NPIF to continue to address disparities between the North and South in regard to funding options, and I would urge any business that may be seeking funding to make contact via www.NPIF.co.uk.
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.
If you would like to meet with one of our appointed Fund Managers to talk in more detail please go to 'Funds Available' to find the Fund Managers operating in your area
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