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26th July 2022

NPIF investment providing a boost to businesses outside the major cities


Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund

It’s been five years since the British Business Bank and 10 Local Enterprise Partnerships across the North West, Yorkshire & the Humber and Tees Valley came together to launch the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund. During this time, NPIF investment has played an important role in bolstering regional economic diversity by delivering finance beyond just the big Northern cities.

In fact, as much as 68% per cent of NPIF investment has gone to businesses based outside of Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, and Sheffield through its networks of fund managers across the North.

In total, NPIF has delivered 1,420 investments to more than 1,000 SMEs across the North, directly investing £342m and attracting an additional £522m in private sector co-investment. This equates to more than £860m of investment that has been directly utilised to nurture regional entrepreneurship, helping to address the North-South divide and create economic prosperity in the region.

Funding has been utilised for a wide range of purposes for diverse business across the regions, such as developing and commercialising new products and services, purchasing new equipment, moving, and expanding premises or even as working capital to finance new orders.

NPIF funding has proved successful in boosting growth for many businesses in rural and coastal towns in the North in particular. Blackpool-based specialist access and rescue training business REAX harnessed a £35,000 loan from NPIF – BFS & MSIF Microfinance, provided by GC Finance in 2018. Since then, the business has bolstered its team of external specialist training instructors, opened several new facilities, and developed a mobile training unit for use on client sites throughout the country.

More recent additions to the portfolio outside of the major cities include Chester-based car leading comparison provider Moneyshake which secured a £1m investment from NPIF – Maven Equity Finance which is managed by Maven and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund. The business has used the funding to reach a wider audience, better its customer experience and improve its product offering with its finance and white label partners.

NPIF – FW Capital Debt Finance, which is managed by FW Capital and is part of the  Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund also delivered a six-figure investment to Stockton-on-Tees headquartered security firm Next Level Security Services (NLSS) to fulfil the requirements of the business’ new £15m contract. The loan will facilitate the business’ new growth plans by creating new jobs and apprenticeships to support expansion.

Another business supported by NPIF investment is Grimsby-based Smartflow Couplings. It has now been able to successfully reduce lead times and meet growing demands for its new range of products after securing joint funding from NPIF – BEF & FFE Microfinance and Finance For Enterprise. The company is now set to treble its workforce and is targeting an eight-fold increase in turnover within the next two years.

It’s testament to the strength of the NPIF network that investment has been delivered to all corners of the northern powerhouse region. The partnerships with each of the LEPs, Combined Authorities and the NPIF fund managers has been the bedrock to making this regional economic diversity possible.

The fund managers understand the strengths and opportunities of each area and there’s no doubt we’ll continue to see businesses outside of the key city’s secure investment.

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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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

Microfinance page
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Debt Finance

£100k – £750k

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Equity Finance

£50k – £2m

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