In the March 2016 budget the then Chancellor of the excequer, George Osborne, announced funding in the form of a £250m Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) which was primarily aimed at boosting the economy of the region and supporting the growth its small and medium sized businesses.

The aim of the fund is to transform the availability of funding for smaller firms in the Midlands to enable them to realise the regions potential to achieve substantial economic growth through enterprise. The MEIF will provide commercially focused lending through Small Business Loans, Debt Finance and Equity Finance funding.

The British Busines Bank launched the initial tranche of the progamme on 29th August which has a total of £120m available composed of two seperate streams – £30m of small business loans valued between £25k and £150k and £90m of debt finance worth between £100k and £1.5m.

Further funding is expected to be made available in autumn 2017.

The MEIF provides gap funds for growth-orientated small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that have been unable to secure all or part of the funding required to support their growth from traditional, commercial lenders. Following ex-ante assessments by the British Business Bank.

The funds will be made available to businesses with material operations in, or are planning to open material operations within the area covered by the Midlands Engine comprising of the West Midlands and the East and South East Midlands.

Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Midlands Engine Ministerial Champion said:

“The investment fund is a key part of our Midlands Engine Strategy to help create more jobs and boost skills in the region. This financial support will enable local businesses to grow, move in to new markets and boost productivity.”

For further information on how businesses can access funding from MEIF and on the nature of funds available businesses should visit the MEIF website.