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£400m Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund opens for business in Liverpool

Business leaders from across Liverpool have welcomed the £400m Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) as a new source of regional economic development funding to boost the local economy.

Over 200 delegates gathered at an event at the Hard Day’s Night Hotel this month to hear about the new funding opportunities available and how these can be accessed.

NPIF has been set up by the British Business Bank in conjunction with the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and nine other LEPs across the North West, Yorkshire, Humber and Tees Valley. Financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the UK Government, NPIF aims to provide small and medium businesses with increased flexibility in the types of funding available. The Fund was officially launched on 22nd February at an event in Manchester by Andrew Percy, Northern Powerhouse Minster and Member of Parliament for Brigg and Goole.

NPIF provides funding to fund managers who offer Microfinance (£25,000 - £100,000), Business Loans (£100,000 - £750,000) and Equity Finance (up to £2m) to boost investment levels in the North of England. It will work alongside the LEPs and Growth Hubs, as well as local accountants, fund managers and banks, to provide a mix of debt and equity capital to SMEs at all stages in their development.

Speakers at the event included British Business Bank Chief Operating Officer Patrick Magee, Sue Chambers and Simon Thelwall-Jones of MSIF, Mark Basnett from the Liverpool LEP, Anna Heyes, Managing Director of Active Profile Ltd and representatives from Business Finance Solutions and FW Capital, the fund managers responsible for the local area.

Patrick Magee, Chief Operating Officer at the British Business Bank, said: “This Fund is a result of a unique and important partnership between the British Business Bank and the 10 Local Enterprise Partnerships across the northern powerhouse regions. Following a successful launch in Manchester, we are incredibly excited about the opportunity this fund represents for those small and medium sized businesses in Liverpool that with the right support, could transform the Northern economy. It is important that we now collaborate with our partners to put this money to work and get in front of those businesses that have a real appetite for growth.”

Mark Basnett, Managing Director of Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership said: "Liverpool City Region has the potential to make an enormous contribution to the economy of the North and the wider UK.  It has the highest proportion of high growth firms in the UK outside London and the South East. The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is a welcome addition to the local funding landscape for business and will work alongside existing funding in the City Region from MSIF. It will provide valuable support to our business community, particularly those with high growth potential. We will work closely with the appointed Fund Managers and existing providers to ensure there is a simple joined up approach for business, working through the local growth hub.”

For more information about Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, please click here