£200m Investment Fund to Support SME Growth in South West
The South West International Fund, being launched next year by the BBR, is forecast to yield a £1.6m commitment of new backing to help drive growth throughout the region. This should prove to increase levels of private debt lending and equity investment in the South West – which is currently well below what could be expected given the region’s share of the UK’s SMEs. For the fuller picture on this subject please read the bulletin below issued today by ‘Insider News’.
Roger Mundy, Managing Director, Beardsley Theobalds, 2nd November 2022
South West Firms Set to Benefit From £200m Investment Fund
A £200m investment fund designed to support the growth of small and medium-sized businesses across the South West is on course to be launched in the first half of next year.
The South West Investment Fund is the first in a series of new Nations and Regions Investment Funds being launched by the British Business Bank, which will yield a £1.6bn commitment of new backing in a bid to drive sustainable economic growth.
The new venture will offer a range of commercial finance options with loans from £25,000 to £2m and equity investment up to £5m.
It will cover the entire South West region including Bristol, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire.
The South West Investment Fund aims to tackle an identified funding gap across the region and increase the supply and diversity of early-stage finance for smaller businesses.
Similar funds are in the planning stages for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, along with follow-on funds for the Midlands and the North of England.
The new initiative follows the success of the regional investment funds already being implemented by the British Business Bank through the Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (CIoSIF), Midlands Engine (MEIF) and Northern Powerhouse (NPIF) Investment Funds.
Ken Cooper, managing director of venture solutions at the British Business Bank, said: "The design of the South West Investment Fund builds on the success of our other regional funds. It will increase the supply and diversity of early-stage finance for smaller businesses in the region, providing finance for firms that might otherwise not receive investment and helping to break down barriers in access to finance.
"The levels of private debt lending and equity investment in the South West are significantly below what we would expect given the region’s share of the UK’s smaller business population.
"That's something the new fund will tackle by backing ambitious businesses to drive sustainable economic growth."