Finance firms mark key investment milestones in supporting North West firms

Chris Baguley

Specialist lender, Together, has reported record loan rates over the past month, with more than £103m confirmed in short term commercial finance.

The Cheadle finance firm provides regulated and unregulated finance, as well as commercial and residential mortgages and has a loan book of more than £4.4bn.

Its latest figures reveal it provided more than 260 bridging loans worth £103.6m in April – a 17% increase on its previous record of £88m set in July 2021.

This was due, in part, to a number of larger loans – worth £5m and above – during the period.

Chris Baguley, corporate MD, said: “The demand for short term finance is continuing to soar across the industry, despite continued global uncertainties and financial pressures on individuals and businesses post-COVID. Our latest lending figures certainly reflect this.

“We’re finding that, while traditional lenders are tightening their criteria and scaling back from providing finance, the demand from potential clients, such as SMEs, property developers, landlords and investors, is as big as ever.”

He added: “We have the largest ever loan book in our near 50-year history, rising application numbers and a strong pipeline for unregulated bridging products and have had particular interest from clients seeking larger loans of £5m-plus.”

Manchester private equity firm, Maven Capital Partners, is also marking an important milestone as it celebrates £60m of investment in North West businesses from NPIF-Maven Equity Finance, which is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF).

The investments have led to the creation of more than 1,000 jobs.

Appointed by the British Business Bank in February 2017 to manage the North West equity fund for NPIF, Maven’s focus has been investing in innovative and fast growth businesses across North West England. Since the Fund’s launch, Maven has invested in 69 businesses across the region, including Greater Manchester, Liverpool, Lancashire, Cheshire & Warrington, and Cumbria.

Equity funding from NPIF-Maven Equity Finance has enabled ambitious entrepreneurs, innovators and business leaders to grow their businesses further and faster by helping them to enter new markets, launch new products, expand their customer base, boost employee numbers and capitalise on market opportunities.

Alex Rothwell, senior investment manager at Maven, said: “We are proud to have played a key role in supporting SMEs in the North West by delivering equity investment from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund and see so many businesses thrive and grow from the investments made to date.

“Supporting local growth through the backing of strong management teams is fundamental to what we do. Maven’s UK wide office network, which includes Manchester and Liverpool, ensures that we have a strong presence in the region, extensive local knowledge, and that our experienced executives are on hand to work effectively with management teams to overcome any challenges and maximise opportunities.”

Ryan Bevington, partner at Maven, said: “Looking ahead, we have an exciting couple of years ahead because of the Government’s decision to extend NPIF until at least 2023. Whilst we have invested £60m to date, we have up to £96m of equity finance in total available to businesses across the North West and, therefore, we’ll be embarking on many more growth journeys with ambitious businesses to help them fulfil their true potential.”