North West Fund: £185m Business Boost
Small businesses in the North West that are struggling to secure traditional finance can apply for public funding to kick-start their growth plans, following the launch of the £185 million North West Fund.
The fund will provide small businesses across a range of sectors with loan and equity investments of between £50,000 and £2,000,000 until 2015.
The European-backed investment pot, managed by North West Business Finance (NWBF), is made up of several separate funds:
- Development Capital — equity and loan packages, for businesses across all sectors, especially economic priority groups.
- Business Loan — loans between £50,000 and £250,000 available to growing small businesses that cannot secure funding from the banking sector.
- Venture Capital — early-stage finance for start-ups.
- Priority Sector Funds — separate funds for businesses in the three sectors selected as the most important to the regional economy’s growth: Biomedical, Energy and environment, and Digital and creative.
To be eligible, firms must be based in the North West, or be planning to relocate there as part of their investment plan. Interested firms can visit the North West Fund website to complete the eligibility checklist and apply for finance. As part of the application, they will need to submit a business plan.
The fund managers aim to secure an additional £200 million of co-investment capital from private funds including business angels, private equity investors and banks.
European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programme monitoring committee chair, Liz Meek, said:
“Along with initiatives like the Regional Growth Fund, the North West Fund will give the private sector, and especially small and growing businesses, the help it needs at a time when help is needed most.”
For more information about the fund and to apply, visit the North West Fund website.