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£250m investment to drive forward the Midlands Engine

28 November 2016

Ambitious start-ups and rapidly growing businesses will be able to benefit from a £250million Government cash injection to help kick-start the ‘Midlands Engine’.

The funding aimed at boosting the region’s economy and supporting the growth ambitions of its 460,000 smaller businesses, with companies across Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, Milton Keynes, Aylesbury, Banbury and Bicester set to reap the rewards.

The fund is a joint agreement between the British Business Bank and 10 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), including the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership.

It is expected to bring together legacy funding from existing programmes, new funding from the British Business Bank and new European funding.

Stephen Catchpole, chief executive of SEMLEP, said: “The Midlands Engine has the potential to make the region a force to be reckoned with, not just in the UK but on a global scale.

“We welcome the funding and we look forward to helping to invest in exciting, dynamic businesses which possess the drive, vision and growth ambitions that epitomise the entrepreneurial spirit of the South East Midlands.”

Businesses will be able to apply for a share of an equity fund of up to £2m, a loan fund from £100k up to £1.5m, a Small Business Loans fund from £25k up to £150k and a proof of concept/early stage fund up to £750k.

Fund managers will be appointed in the New Year and applications to the fund are likely to begin in March 2017.

Gayle Pope, head of business services at SEMLEP, said: “Ambitious start-ups and rapidly-growing businesses are the lifeblood of a thriving economy and the Midlands Engine funding aims to support them and help them to grow quickly and effectively.

“Velocity Growth Hub can help businesses prepare for investment and link them directly with the fund managers, ensuring the whole process runs smoothly.”

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