Launch of Midlands Engine Investment Fund II unlocks millions in funding for smaller businesses

The British Business Bank is launching its £400 million Midlands Engine Investment Fund II today, unlocking additional funding to help smaller businesses in Nottinghamshire prosper and thrive.
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The fund will drive sustainable economic growth by supporting new and growing businesses across the whole of the Midlands, through investment strategies that best meet the needs of these firms. It includes a range of finance options with loans from £25,000 to £2 million and equity investments up to £5 million to help small and medium-sized businesses start up, scale up or stay ahead.

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund II aims to build on the success of the inaugural Midlands Engine Investment Fund), a £300m fund which has already supported 299 smaller businesses in the East and South East Midlands since its launch in 2017. The new fund will help hundreds more businesses to achieve their potential and further increase the supply and diversity of early-stage finance by providing options to firms that might otherwise be unable to secure investment. Funding is designed to help businesses with activities including expansion, product or service innovation, new processes, skills development, and capital equipment.

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Three fund managers have been appointed to manage the fund in the East and South East Midlands. First Enterprise - Enterprise Loans will manage the smaller loans part of the fund (£25,000 to £100,000), Maven Capital Partners will be responsible for larger loans (£100,000 to £2 million) and Mercia Ventures will manage equity deals (up to £5 million).


Louis Taylor, Chief Executive Officer, British Business Bank said: “The Midlands is the heartland of UK small business. Since launching in 2017, the first Midlands Engine Investment Fund has so far created over 1,400 jobs across the East and South East Midlands - boosting the whole region’s productivity by 70%.

“The first Midlands Engine Investment Fund provided a blueprint for how we can support entrepreneurs and founders, whoever they are and wherever they are in the region, to access the funds and support they need. This new fund will allow us to continue supporting business owners across the Midlands, whether they’re at the start of their journey or are already running an established firm.

“Promoting growth by ensuring entrepreneurs can access the finance they need regardless of where and who they are is one of the Bank’s strategic objectives, and vital to unlocking the full potential of the UK’s smaller businesses.”

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Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Gareth Davies MP said: “Small businesses are the engine of the economy, which is why having access to funding like this is vital to help them thrive and grow, creating jobs and spreading opportunity everywhere.

“As the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, the Midlands propelled the UK into a new era of technological and economic growth and now the next generation of entrepreneurs will have the support they need to continue this success”.

Alpkit, a B Corp outdoor clothing and equipment company based in Nottingham, received significant investment from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund into their business in 2023, which allowed them to relocate their workshop offering from China to the UK.

David Hanney, CEO, Alpkit said: “The funding we received from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund was game-changing to Alpkit. With it, we were able to relocate our wheel and bike building workshop from China to the UK, helping reduce our carbon footprint and invest in jobs and people locally. The UK has a buoyant outdoor market, and with a strong brand positioning we have built a business with £12m+ turnover that has great potential for further growth. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Midlands Engine Investment Fund as a way for fellow small business owners to expand their potential."

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Following today’s launch, the British Business Bank will be holding a series of information roadshows aimed at people working with smaller businesses including enterprise agencies, advisors, accountants, law firms and more. The first of these sessions will be held in Lincoln on 11th March 2024, with additional sessions held in Leicester, Wolverhampton, and Coventry, with further locations planned for April and May 2024.

To find out more and apply for funding, visit:

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