The British Business Bank has announced the first wave of its £250million Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF), with the launch of £120million of SME debt finance. The first tranche of the MEIF is now available to businesses across the 10 Local Enterprise Partnership areas in the Midlands.
Aimed at eliminating regional imbalances in funding, the British Business Bank is keen to support fast-growth organisations and businesses looking to expand into new markets and boost productivity, supporting job creation.
The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is the result of close collaboration between the British Business Bank, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Department for Communities and Local Government and 10 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in the East and South East and West Midlands. It brings together new and existing funding from Central Government, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), British Business Bank and European Investment Bank (EIB).
The £120million fund is composed of two separate lots – £30million of small business loans valued between £25,000 and £150,000, as well as £90million of debt finance worth between £100,000 and £1.5million. The £120million fund is part of a wider £250million commitment, with further funding due to be made available later this Autumn.
For more information on how to access financial support from the fund, visit www.meif.co.uk.
This is great news for businesses across the Midlands region which are seeking funding. The MEIF will provide another option for businesses to gain access to debt funding that would otherwise be unavailable to them.
There have been some reports in the media that the fund had been dogged by delays, caused by issues identified by the British Business Bank (BBB) in the procurement process, for awarding contracts for the Equity and Proof-of-Concept funds. It seems that these have now been resolved and the fund is now in place to boost the region’s economy and support the growth of the 780,000 SMEs across the Midlands.