£400m NPIF makes first investments across the North

The £400m Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) has announced the first investments following its launch in February, with more than £240,000 going to four SMEs.

Business Finance Solutions has invested £100,000 in Greater Manchester-based mobile CCTV specialist Red Security Solutions.

The money, sourced from NPIF – BFS and AFM Microfinance, will allow RSS to invest in a range of new hybrid solar powered security solutions.

Meanwhile, Enterprise Ventures Debt Finance has stumped up a £100,000 loan to Sheffield-based TV/AV reception and distribution products manufacturer, importer and supplier, Blake UK.

BEF & FFE Microfinance provided £40,000 to Leeds-based fire protection company Vulcan Passive Fire Systems and FW Capital Debt Finance has backed Birkenhead-based AEV, a maker of varnishes, resins, compounds and insulating products for the electrical and electronic sectors.

Operating from the British Business Bank’s Sheffield head office, the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund provides capital to fund managers who will offer Microfinance (£25,000 – £100,000), Business Finance (£100,000 – £750,000) and Equity Finance (up to £2m). NPIF works alongside 10 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), bringing together unprecedented partnerships with LEPs on both sides of the Pennines.

NPIF also works with combined authorities and Growth Hubs, as well as with local accountants, fund managers and banks, to provide a mixture of debt and equity capital to Northern-based SMEs at all stages of their development.

Northern Powerhouse Minister Andrew Percy said: “Our efforts to build the Northern Powerhouse are delivering real results for local people. More than one million businesses are already involved and foreign direct investments are up by a quarter.

“This dedicated £400m fund will help us go even further. As part of our Plan for Britain to create a stronger economy, it will help smaller businesses across the region.

“These first investments show how this fund is already making a great impact. It’s delivering the resources local businesses need to reach their potential.”

Keith Morgan, chief executive at British Business Bank, said: “While there is work ahead to fully unlock the potential of businesses across the Northern Powerhouse region, the announcement of these first investments shows significant momentum and is cause for great optimism. We are confident that we can build on this strong start to provide funding across the range of geographies and sectors, making a real difference to the Northern Powerhouse region.”

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.

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.

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