Region secures £179m of equity investment in 2021

Sophie Dale-Black, UK Network director for the North of England at the British Business Bank

The annual Small Business Equity Tracker which is published by the British Business Bank has found that investment in Yorkshire and the Humber’s smaller businesses reached record levels last year.

According to the research the region saw a 13% increase in the value of equity deals announced totalling £179m, as well a growth in the number of deals done to 86.

The bank noted that the momentum from 2021 has continued into the the first quarter of 2022 with the value of equity deals in Yorkshire between January and March reaching £105m already.

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority area drew in the region’s highest levels of equity deals, ranking eight in the UK’s top equity clusters by announced deal count.

The region has on average since 2019 secured an average yearly investment value of £64m for its smaller businesses, with this activity described as being driven by significant deals in the software sector including cashless technology start up Tappit and Metaverse game developer Dubit.

The region’s other area to have a directly elected mayor, South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority made it into the top 20 equity clusters, ranking joint 14th with an average yearly investment value of £29m.

The research comes as the British Business Bank equity programmes are estimated to have supported 14% of UK equity deals between 2019-21, with these deals forming 19% of the overall invested equity amount in that period. The bank noted that this was largely driven by the Enterprise Capital Funds (ECF) programme, Regional Angels Programme, British Patient Capital and the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF). The latter has directly invested £332m into 1,024 businesses across the North of England, alongside an additional £489m of private sector co-investment, taking its total delivery to more than £800m

Sophie Dale-Black, UK Network director for the North of England at the British Business Bank, said: “It’s encouraging to see such buoyant results for the smaller business equity market in Yorkshire and the Humber. There is no doubt this is a step in the right direction and a clear sign of investor confidence in the region.

“Whilst there are signs of this momentum continuing in early 2022, smaller businesses will be mindful of potential economic headwinds in the coming months and year. We will continue to provide businesses with the access to finance they need to start up and thrive in the region.”