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Back to News Keira Shepperson

30th January 2023

Director of Regional Funds, Q&A


Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund

Get to know recently appointed Keira Shepperson, as she talks about her new role at the British Business Bank, views on regional investment, and where improvements can be made in providing access to finance

What is your role at the British Business Bank?

I’m the Director of Regional Funds, responsible for overseeing the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, the Midlands Engine and Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Funds.  I was previously in the Future Fund team, which is responsible for managing the portfolio of companies who received convertible loans during the Covid pandemic.  I’ve been with the Bank for 7 years and was part of the original team who helped set up the regional funds.

What do you hope to achieve in your new role?

I’m hoping to lead the team in continuing the great work of investing in businesses across the regions.  In our last year of investing we are keen to ensure we maximise the amounts being invested in businesses.  Then in the next two years ensuring the equity funds are making follow-on investments in the most successful businesses leading to the creation of more jobs and wealth in the region.

What are the benefits of regionally focused investment funds?

Investing in the regions is a no brainer.  There is a wealth of talent and creativity in the North and this needs to be effectively harvested so business can prosper and grow.  This can only be fully effective if we have a successful financial ecosystem in place. Regional funds like NPIF ensure that there is a balanced and diverse array of businesses across the country.

What guidance would you give to a regional business owner seeking out investment for the first time?

Firstly I would suggest meeting as many people as you can. Go to networking events and make sure to use all the local resources available to you such as growth hubs, business chambers and trade associations. Try to get advice from those who have been in your situation in the past. They can help you avoid pitfalls and open new doors.

Where do you think we need to see improvements when it comes to access to finance?

I’d like to see two main improvements:

1) Despite a number of great government interventions (including the British Business Bank of course) there’s still more to be done to make it easier to set up and fund a business. People have great ideas and often don’t know where to start, we need to highlight the variety of options and avenues of support available.

2) Greater diversity. Having regional funds is one way of increasing diversity but I’d like to see more targeted programmes for socio-economic diversity. This is an aim of the British Business Bank, but it’s a goal that needs to be held by other funding organisations to make a significant impact.

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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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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£25k – £100k

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Debt Finance

£100k – £750k

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Equity Finance

£50k – £2m

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