£660m Northern Powerhouse II investment fund launches today

The British Business Bank has launched its new Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund II (NPIF II), a £660m fund set to cover the entire North of England.

Since the launch of the first Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund in 2017, has delivered over £445m of direct and private co-sector investment into 552 businesses, helping to create nearly 4,300 jobs across the Yorkshire and Humber region.

Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund II will also drive sustainable economic growth by supporting innovation and creating local opportunity for new and growing businesses across the North.

It will increase the supply and diversity of early-stage finance for smaller businesses, providing funds to firms that might otherwise not receive investment and help to break down barriers in access to finance.

The fund will continue investing into companies operating within the North West, Yorkshire and the Humber and Tees Valley. It is now expanded to include the whole of the North East, enabling businesses across the whole of the North to access the fund to start up, scale up or continue on their growth journey.

In Yorkshire and the Humber, Mercia will deliver debt finance (£100,000 to £2 million), as well as equity finance (up to £5 million) to smaller businesses with Business Enterprise Fund (BEF) delivering smaller loans between £25,000 and £100,000.

Mercia told the London Stock Exchange this morning that its new mandates for Yorkshire and Humber totalled £100m in equity investments and £53m in debt finance.

Mercia chief executive Dr Mark Payton said, “This is a further strong vote of confidence in our investment track-record, which is built on our ability to successfully deploy the capital that is really needed to support exciting growth companies through our established regional footprints and networks.”

Yorkshire businesses that have benefitted from the first Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund include Castings Technology International (CTI), a world leading casting manufacturer based in Rotherham. Providing manufacturing expertise to the cast metals sector and global supply chain, it created the largest ever titanium part poured into a ceramic mould. Its novel casting techniques has placed Rotherham and CTI on the map for cast metal innovation.

Richard Cook, managing director at CTI, said: “Thanks to the support of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, we have been able to push forward with our growth plans. We are innovators by nature, and since the Fund’s involvement, we have been able to fulfil orders and deliver on contracts for some of the biggest brands.”

Tinsley Bridge, a historic Sheffield engineering firm, also benefitted from NPIF funding. As a major supplier of suspension parts to the European truck industry, the business has used the investment to keep up with record demand it has experience post-pandemic.

Mark Webber, managing director at Tinsley Bridge Group, said: “With the help of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund we’ve been able to meet record demand in several of our key markets, despite disruptions in the global supply chain. It is clear that NPIF is committed to supporting the growth of smaller businesses, no matter what challenges they face.”

Louis Taylor, chief executive of the British Business Bank, said: “The success of the first Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund has proven the instrumental change that access to finance can have for small businesses. From creating hundreds of jobs to developing ground-breaking products, we have seen companies that previously lacked funding options accelerate forward in their growth journeys, which has ultimately benefitted the whole of the Northern economy.

“This is why it was important to continue the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund into its next phase. With further funding available, and a greater geographical reach in the North East, the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund II will engage more stakeholders across the regions, bringing the business community closer together to create more opportunities for entrepreneurs everywhere.”

Following today’s official launch in Leeds, the British Business Bank will be holding a roadshow of events for small business finance intermediaries across the region to provide more information about the fund. Destinations include Newcastle (18 April); Manchester (24 April), and Sheffield (30 April).