Chancellor commits £400m to next generation of Midlands Engine Investment Fund

Catherine Lewis La Torre

The Chancellor has announced a new £400m allocation for a new Midlands Engine Investment Fund to be delivered by the British Business Bank, bringing the total for investment in the region to over £700m.

An additional £50m has been allocated to the current MEIF programme to take it to £300m, ensuring continuity of funding whilst the next generation of MEIF becomes operational and funds are made open to investment.

The current MEIF fund has invested £142m in Midlands SMEs since launch in 2017.

The new fund is HMG-funded and its design is subject to consultation with local stakeholders.

Catherine Lewis La Torre, CEO of British Business Bank, said: “The Chancellor’s announcement is a clear and welcome show of support for the Midlands’ most ambitious and innovative businesses and the success of the MEIF to date. Since launching in 2017, the MEIF has helped more than 460 businesses invest, innovate, grow and create jobs.

“Today’s commitment of a further £400m through the next generation of MEIF demonstrates the Government’s resolve in supporting the Midlands economy and ensuring the region’s business community has access to the right finance, at the right time.

“There is a strong sense of momentum and ambition in the Midlands right now. The region’s businesses are looking to come back stronger and push forward with growth plans. These funds will continue to support innovation, expansion and the creation of high value jobs.”

Sir John Peace, chairman, Midlands Engine, said: “I am delighted that the government has committed this significant level of investment to support Midlands business growth – particularly SME growth in our region.

“SMEs are the backbone of our dynamic Midlands economy – and for too long there have been barriers around access to appropriate finance for growth for ambitious firms.

“We are a region of entrepreneurs and truly ambitious businesses – that can, and do, compete on the global stage as well as deliver high quality jobs and the products and services our nation needs. As we look to build an ever-stronger UK economy and act powerfully in global markets, access to financial support for development and innovation, and for expansion, including reaching new markets, is critical.

“Midlands firms stand ready to accelerate our economic growth, given the tools they need – and in fact, they are already delivering tangible impact and driving recovery.

“Finance for growth is simply essential which is why I am pleased to see Government backing our business community with the confirmation of this investment today.”

Jon Corbett, chair of the MEIF Strategic Oversight Board, added: “The Government’s commitment to a second MEIF offering £400m to the region’s growing businesses is not only reflective of the success of the MEIF to date, but a clear commitment to support those businesses that have the potential to stimulate the local economy, create jobs and help the region realise its potential in transitioning to a net zero economy.

“The MEIF supports firms that not only boost our regional economy but contribute to our goal to create a sustainable and greener economy.

“I look forward to working with our partners to back those who are at the forefront of the Midlands Green revolution.”

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