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13 Mar 2018

£250million of finance now available to Black Country businesses

  • Funding announced at a briefing in Dudley, hosted in collaboration with the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership and attended by financial intermediaries, influencers and local business community
  • £250million of debt and equity finance available through the Midlands Engine Investment Fund to help Black Country businesses grow and thrive

The British Business Bank (BBB) has launched its £250million Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF), with a mix of debt and equity finance now available to the Black Country business community, as well as the wider West, East and South-East Midlands region.

Signifying its importance to local businesses, the BBB collaborated with the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership’s Growth Hub in hosting an official briefing event at the Black Country Living Museum, informing business representatives of the new funding on offer via the government backed initiative.

Showcasing the MEIF’s ambition to fast-track business growth across the Midlands, guests heard from the fund managers responsible for delivering the MEIF on how different types of finance can be used to help accelerate business growth.

Paul Brown attended as Black Country LEP Board Member and Chair of Business Competitiveness Group, he commented:

It has been great to be part of the process getting the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) up and running. It may have taken a while but we are now ready to move forward supporting SME’s which is fantastic news for businesses in the Black Country. It is by creating a better environment for businesses to grow and scale up that the number of high growth businesses can be realised which, will also have that much needed positive knock on effect for productivity and job creation in the region.”

Dan Carins, Head of Black Country Growth Hub said:

Access to financial support has been a challenge for SMEs in the Black Country. We are confident that the flexibility that the MEIF offers will minimise those challenges and play an important role for the Black Country Growth Hub as its partners work to help businesses along their journey to growth and prosperity.”

Patrick Magee, Chief Commercial Officer, British Business Bank, said:

The recent British Business Bank’s Small Business Finance Market report revealed significant regional imbalances in the supply of equity finance across the UK. We believe there is a major opportunity to increase the supply of equity finance in the Midlands, and to enhance the growth ecosystem. The launch of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund will help to grow the region’s access to funds to support its economic potential and collective talent.”

Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, Housing Secretary and Ministerial Champion for the Midlands Engine, said:

The Midlands Engine already boasts over 14 per cent of the UK’s high-growth businesses and its economy is worth more than £230 billion – larger than countries like Denmark. We want to harness its huge potential and help give small firms across the Midlands that much-needed boost to grow their business.  Ensuring every part of the UK can play to its strengths and spread prosperity is central to our Industrial Strategy, and this fund will not only generate jobs to benefit the entire Midlands but, ultimately, the British economy.”

The MEIF will invest in equity finance through appointed Fund Managers:

  • Midven Ltd will operate a Venture Fund focusing on the West Midlands
  • Foresight Group LLP, will run a similar fund focused on the East & South-East Midlands
  • Mercia Fund Managers will run a Proof of Concept and Early Stage Equity Fund addressing the whole of the Midlands

The equity finance will join the £120m of Loan Funds launched in August 2017.

These are made up of: Small Business Loans Funds operated in the West Midlands by BCRS Business Loans Ltd and in the East & South East Midlands by Enterprise Loans East Midlands Ltd and a larger Debt Finance fund operated across the whole of the Midlands by Maven Capital Partners UK LLP.

For more information on the funding available, please visit

The MEIF project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020, the European Investment Bank and the British Business Bank.


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