£40 million unlocked for Midlands’ businesses as MEIF reveals new loan fund

  • Midlands Engine Investment Fund launches new loan fund
  • The FSE Group appointed to manage £40 million of debt finance
  • Fund to address regional demand for alternative debt finance options

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) has appointed a new fund manager and made £40 million available to invest in the region’s small businesses.

Appointed to address regional demand for alternative debt finance options, The FSE Group will manage the £40 million debt fund, with the capability to invest between £100k and £1.5 million in businesses based in the West Midlands and East & South East Midlands.

Forming the latest phase of investment released by the MEIF, the £40 million of debt finance brings the number of MEIF funds to eight, with the FSE Group set to work alongside six existing fund managers.

This announcement follows a successful period for the MEIF including hitting its £50 million invested mark. The FSE Group is set to build on this and invest in a range of businesses, adding to the portfolio of over 225 SMEs already receiving finance from the British Business Bank’s MEIF Fund.

Local Government Secretary, Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, who is also the Government’s Midlands Engine Champion, said:

“As someone who grew up in the Midlands and is now fortunate enough to represent a Midlands constituency in Parliament, I’m very proud to be the Midlands Engine Champion in Cabinet.

“The region is home to some of the world’s most innovative businesses and dynamic entrepreneurs. Thanks to this further £40 million being made available through the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, more businesses in the Midlands will be able to secure the backing they need to develop their ideas, grow their companies and create more well-paid local jobs.

“Opening up further investment opportunities for local businesses is just one of the ways that this new government is putting the Midlands at the heart of our plans to level up all parts of the country and create prosperous communities.”

Patrick Magee, Chief Commercial Officer at the British Business Bank, said:

“Since launch, the MEIF has committed to improving the regional finance landscape for small businesses. We have made strong progress, providing over 225 businesses with finance and helping them achieve new growth. Adding a new fund manager will help us continue delivering on this mission as we help to support driving the Midlands Engine forward.

“The FSE Group has an expert team and is well equipped to not only invest in businesses, but work with them in the long-term to help them create jobs, enter new markets and bolster the regional economy.”

Jon Corbett, Chair of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund’s Strategic Oversight Board, said:

“Collaboration between our fund managers, Local Enterprise Partnerships and intermediaries has played a key part in the success of the MEIF so far. As a board, we believe that The FSE Group will be a valuable addition to the team, boosting investment and business growth across the Midlands.”

Robert Spencer, Executive Chairman at The FSE Group, said:

“We are delighted to be appointed fund manager for this new £40m debt fund and join the existing fund managers in providing alternative finance options from the MEIF. The FSE Group has been funding and supporting growth SMEs for over 15 years and we look forward to bringing our characteristic flexible more-than-money approach to the Midlands region.”

The Midlands Engine 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.


-ENDS-

Press contacts:

Lauren Tunnicliffe, British Business Bank

Lauren.tunnicliffe@british-business-bank.co.uk / 07557 205044

Tom Bradshaw-Smith, Story Comms

tom@wearestorycomms.com / 07432 460 225

Lewis Thomas, Story Comms

lewis@wearestorycomms.com / 07823 335 659

About the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF)

  • The Midlands Engine Investment Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund, will invest in Debt Finance, Small Business Loans, Proof-of-Concept and Equity Finance funds, ranging from £25,000 to £2m, specifically to help small and medium sized businesses secure the funding they need for growth and development.
  • The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is operated by British Business Financial Services Limited, wholly owned by British Business Bank, the UK’s national economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity.
  • The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the European Investment Bank, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and British Business Finance Limited, a British Business Bank group company.
  • The MEIF covers the following LEP areas: Black Country, Coventry & Warwickshire, Greater Birmingham & Solihull, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, The Marches, and Worcestershire in the West Midlands; and Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham & Nottinghamshire (D2N2) Greater Lincolnshire, Leicester and Leicestershire, and South-East Midlands in the East and South-East Midlands.
  • The project is receiving up to £78,550,000 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The programme will continue to spend to the end of 2023.
  • The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.
  • The Government has guaranteed all funding allocated through EU programmes until the end of 2020.  https://www.gov.uk/government/news/funding-from-eu-programmes-guaranteed-until-the-end-of-2020
  • The European Investment Bank is providing £122,500,000 to support the Midlands Engine Investment Fund. This follows backing for the Northern Powerhouse in 2017 and backing for the newly launched North East Fund. For further information visit www.eib.org

  • The funds in which Midlands Engine Investment Fund invests are open to businesses with material operations in or planning to open material operations in the West Midlands and East & South-East Midlands.

About the British Business Bank

 The British Business Bank is the UK government’s economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity. Its remit is to design, deliver and efficiently manage UK-wide smaller business access to finance programmes for the UK government.

The British Business Bank programmes are supporting more than £7.0bn of finance to over 91,000 smaller businesses (as at end of June 2019).

 As well as increasing both supply and diversity of finance for UK smaller businesses through its programmes, the Bank works to raise awareness of the finance options available to smaller businesses:

  • The Business Finance Guide (published in partnership with the ICAEW and a further 21 business and finance organisations) impartially sets out the range of finance options available to businesses at all stages – from start-ups to SMEs and growing mid-sized companies. Businesses can take the interactive journey at www.thebusinessfinanceguide.co.uk/bbb.
  • The new British Business Bank Finance Hub provides everything high-growth businesses need to know about their finance options, featuring short films, expert guides, checklists and articles from finance providers to help make their application a success. The new site also features case studies and learnings from real businesses to guide businesses through the process of applying for growth finance.

 British Business Bank plc is a limited company registered in England and Wales, registration number 08616013, registered office at Steel City House, West Street, Sheffield, S1 2GQ. As the holding company of the group operating under the trading name of British Business Bank, it is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government which is not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The British Business Bank operates under its own brand name through a number of subsidiaries. 

British Business Bank plc and its principal operating subsidiaries are not banking institutions and do not operate as such. A complete legal structure chart for British Business Bank plc and its subsidiaries can be found on the British Business Bank plc website.