North West enjoys record Start Up Loans support from British Business Bank

Delyth Edwards

North West start-up businesses received £16.6m of loans from the British Business Bank last year, with Manchester winning the lion’s share of financial support.

New data reveals that the bank provided 1,269 businesses in the North West with funding during 2023/24.

The bank provided almost £7m-worth of Start Up Loan funding to Greater Manchester businesses.

Funding to entrepreneurs in the Manchester local authority area was distributed to 143 businesses, with an average loan of £13,565.

Cheshire East followed closely behind, with more than £1.3m being provided to 91 businesses – an average loan of £14,658 per business.

Liverpool received loans for 84 businesses, worth £1.029m, – an average loan of £12,255.

Businesses across a range of sectors received a Start Up Loan this year, including sustainable subscription services platform, Wuva, ecological consultants Evelyn Ecology, and dessert business Layers Treats.

Delyth Edwards, Senior Network Manager for the North West at the British Business Bank, said: “I am incredibly proud of the impact the Start Up Loans programme is having on businesses in the North West.

“We’ve seen some brilliant examples of businesses who have received funding, all of which showcase the importance of regional financial support in unlocking the potential of North West-based entrepreneurs.

“The 2023-24 financial year was Start Up Loans’ best ever in terms of the amount of financing provided to business owners based in the North West, and we want to continue to support businesses in the region.

“More than that, we want to help founders overcome barriers that may emerge when accessing finance and to help under-represented groups who may otherwise struggle to start a business.”

The Start Up Loans programme helps people start or grow their business and is part of the government-owned British Business Bank’s remit to make finance markets work better for smaller businesses.

The programme offers loans of up to £25,000 at a fixed interest rate of six per cent per annum, to be repaid over one to five years. The Start Up Loans programme also offers 12 months of free business mentoring and support to successful applicants.