Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund?
    NPIF is a collaboration between the British Business Bank and 10 LEPs in the North West, Yorkshire & the Humber and Tees Valley. NPIF combines the LEPs’ knowledge of local businesses and economic conditions with the experience and resources of the British Business Bank as Government’s centre of expertise in small business finance markets.
  2. How does NPIF invest?
    NPIF does not invest directly in SMEs. It invests through product funds which are managed by NPIF’s appointed Fund Mangers. There are three types of product fund: Microfinance, Debt Finance and Equity Finance.
  3. Where does NPIF’s funding come from?
    NPIF’s funding is drawn from several sources, including UK Government, European Investment Bank, British Business Bank, European Regional Development Fund (which includes nominal allocations from ten Local Enterprises Partnerships).
  4. What type of funding does NPIF offer?
    NPIF’s product funds make commercially focussed investments through three types of funds: Microfinance, Debt Finance and Equity Finance. The product funds can provide investment for SMEs in amounts from £25k to £2 million.
  5. How do I apply for funding?
    Enquiries and applications are made direct to NPIF’s selected Fund Managers, full details of which can be viewed at In our experience businesses improve the turnaround time of their application and their chance of success if they work on their application with their accountant or business adviser. NPIF cannot provide financial or business advice to SMEs seeking funding.
  6. Where do I need to be based to apply for an NPIF investment?
    The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund covers the areas of the North West, Yorkshire (including the wider Sheffield City Region which includes Chesterfield)  and the Humber and Tees Valley. (For full map of Sheffield City Region go to: If you are based in the North East, outside of Tees Valley please go to: to view the finance options available in your area.
  7. What’s the difference between NPIF and high street finance providers?
    The product funds that NPIF supports provide commercially focussed funding to SMEs in Yorkshire, Humber, North West and Tees Valley. NPIF’s product funds can provide co-investment with other funders in a funding round, or can invest alone, where no other funding is available.
  8. What is an SME?
    An SME is a business employing fewer than 250 employees, with an annual turnover of less than 50m Euros or balance sheet net assets of less than 43m Euros. The business cannot be part of a larger group employing more than 249 employees and where the group owns at least a 25% share of the business. To be eligible for funding from the fund that NPIF supports, an SME must have a material part of its operations, staffing or trading based in the NPIF area (or plan to establish such a presence within 2 years.)
  9. Do I need to use a local Fund Manager?
    No, you do not. We recommend that you try your local NPIF Fund Manager first but NPIF has been structured to be flexible enabling you to make an enquiry to any of the NPIF Fund Managers.
  10. My bank can’t fund the total amount that I need, how can NPIF help?
    NPIF’s product funds can invest in companies alongside other investors in a syndicate to make up an investment package.
  11. What funding is not eligible for NPIF support?
    Eligibility criteria does apply to NPIF funding and Fund Managers will be able to advise on suitability.

Learn more about the funding options NPIF provide below:



£25k – £100k

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debt finance

Debt Finance

£100k – £750k

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equity finance

Equity Finance

£50k – £2m

Learn More

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