Record year for Birmingham funding body with £82m invested in growth

Sue Summers, chief executive at Finance Birmingham

Investment body, Finance Birmingham has reported a record year having invested more than £82m in growing businesses during 2016 –  a 21% increase on the previous year.

The funding arm of Birmingham City Council, Finance Birmingham was first launched in 2010 to help fledging firms overcome difficulties access finance in the wake of the credit crunch.

Since then, its team of 23 has provided a range of funding options to almost 600 businesses enabling many to achieve their growth ambitions by expanding into new markets and developing new products.

The support is estimated to have helped create or safeguard more than 12,500 jobs across nine regions in the UK.

Last year saw a number of high-profile deals including a £3m investment in registration plate manufacturer Hills Numberplates as part of a £10m international expansion plan.

Software firm e-Tech, automotive manufacturer Penso City Vehicles and property development and investment company Opus Land also benefitted from funds.

Sue Summers, chief executive at Finance Birmingham, said: “These results reflect another significant year for Finance Birmingham. We not only saw continued demand for our existing funds, but also consolidated some of the newer additions to our £0.67bn portfolio.

“By working closely with partners such as Birmingham City Council, the West Midlands Combined Authority, Ascension Ventures and the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP and its Growth Hub, we’ve been able to catalyse further business activity and support the continued growth of the regional and national economies.”

She said the organisation was confident of its market position and expected to build on its record success during the current year.

“We continue to see strong, ambitious businesses coming through despite the economic winds of change. Our flexible funding options, regional relationships with the corporate finance community and experienced team are strong indicators that 2017 will be one of our best yet,” she added.

Richard Taffinder, managing director at Hills Numberplates, said: “The funding we secured via Finance Birmingham has truly catalysed our growth, enabling us to expand into new markets and enhance product delivery. The process of gaining an investment, as well having the support and advice from its expert team throughout the process, was highly valuable and has helped us to make real progress in the international automotive arena.”

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