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

3rd September 2021

NPIF: A disruptive power of investment in the North


Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund

Sean Hutchinson, senior investment manager at the British Business Bank and Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, says how the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) which was launched in 2017 to address regional imbalances in the provision of debt and equity finance is working across all areas of the North.

Working with a dedicated team of professional fund managers across all areas of the North to invest £500m of debt and equity finance the Fund continues to make a real impact in supporting the North’s small businesses. In four years, NPIF has directly invested over £271m into more than 900 businesses, securing an additional £317m from private sector investors along the way.

There have been many success stories along the way, such as Yorkshire-based IT services provider Razorblue that secured a six-figure investment in 2019. Since then, it has grown revenues significantly year-on-year, growing their  staff numbers by 30 per cent in the past year to over 120 people in their team. In a similar vein, CareerPass Network, Nova Pangaea and G2O Water Technologies have grown considerably since their initial NPIF investment.

Each NPIF investee business is important and is contributing to the wider economic growth across the North. They are creating new jobs, creating new opportunities, driving innovation and becoming more productive.  We are particularly pleased that NPIF is supporting growing businesses across the north in our major cities, towns, but also in the North’s coastal and rural areas.

As the UK looks to bounce back from impact of the pandemic, diversity and innovation will be key. NPIF’s investment approach ensures that the Fund supports a wide range of businesses in different sectors, but Manufacturing, Life Sciences, Digital Technologies and Business and Professional Services are key sectors receiving investment. As demand for climate-friendly solutions continues to grow, NPIF will play a key role by investing in businesses transitioning  to a low carbon economy.

Wakefield-based Protective Film Solutions (PFS) as an example; the business specialises in glass coatings and window films that help to reduce energy use from freezer displays. Following an NPIF investment in June 2020, the business is taking its products to the US market and making a global impact, all whilst providing new opportunities right here in the North.

With £271 million already invested, we are seeing signs of NPIF’s long term impact. 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.

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.

Editors Notes



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