Help, FAQs and Glossary

Below you'll find answers to the questions we get asked the most about applying for finance from us.


FW Capital is a Fund Management business which invests in English SMEs, helping them grow and prosper. FW Capital is a subsidiary of the DBW Group.  We have offices in Billingham, Cumbria, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Preston.

We offer both loans and mezzanine investment for businesses. These can be used for a variety of purposes, including marketing, capital expenditure, working capital, staff recruitment, property purchase, property development and contract-related bonds.

We cannot refinance existing lenders.

We’re here to help businesses based in the North of England or which are willing to relocate, or set-up a material presence in the region. This includes:

  • SMEs (established and younger businesses)
  • Property developers
  • Larger businesses for contract-related bonds

An SME is a small or medium-sized enterprise where the following criteria is satisfied:

  • You have less than 250 employees (full time equivalent) AND:
  • The reported annual sales of the business are less than £50m OR the balance sheet value is less than £43m


The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (“NPIF”) is an initiative launched by the government-owned British Business Bank, providing a variety of funding options to businesses in the North of England.  FW Capital delivers the £102m debt-finance element of the fund.

The North East Property Fund is a £10m fund offering loans from £250k to £1m to property developers and construction firms to finance development costs for smaller residential and non-speculative commercial property schemes. The North East Local Enterprise Partnership and Santander are investors in this fund.

The Tees Valley Catalyst Fund is a £10m fund offering loans from £100k to £2m to enterprises that need to fund bonds related to new contracts. The scheme provides loans for performance bonds, warranty bonds and advance payment guarantees.

Applying for investment

FW Capital can offer the following:

  • Loans of £100k to £750k for growth purposes via the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.
  • Loans of £100k to £2m for performance bonds in the North East.
  • Property development loans of £250k to £1m for property development in the North East.

We always aim to keep our interest rates competitive. Our annual interest rates can range from 6% to 12% and they’re fixed for the life of your loan – even if the Bank of England’s Base Rate changes.

For more information, please contact us.

The security we take is usually over the assets in the business and often includes personal guarantees.

The level of security given can influence the interest rate of the loan.

There are certain criteria for each of the funds we manage. This includes the need for your business to be based in the appropriate geography for the product you are considering - this will either be the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund region, or the North East. You will find further information on the Funds we manage pages.

If your business isn’t based in one of these areas, but is either willing to re-locate or will have a material presence in the region as a result of the investment, then this should be sufficient – our local Investment Executives can provide further guidance on this.

A business plan and some financial information will also need to be provided before you are able to receive any funding.

Unlike other lenders, we are able to help business across sectors including:

  • Business services
  • Engineering, electronics & optics
  • Food & drink
  • Healthcare
  • Industrial & manufacturing
  • ICT, software & services
  • Life sciences
  • Media & entertainment
  • Medical technology
  • Professional services
  • Property
  • Renewables

Please note there are some sectors deemed as restricted and off limits to any support.

  • Production of weapons and ammunition
  • Gambling
  • Tobacco
  • Activities that give rise to environmental impact
  • Activities that are ethically or morally controversial

If you think you meet our criteria, fill out the enquiry form and we will discuss the process and outline next steps.

This depends on how soon we receive all necessary documentation and the size and complexity of the finance you need. 

Absolutely. Our portfolio teams work with our customers to help provide follow-on funding when required. This means a company could secure several rounds of finance from us over a period of time.

Property development loans

Our maximum loan is £1m. Anything below £250,000 isn’t viable given the professional costs involved. If you require a loan of more than £1m we may still be able to help you if is it possible to phase you scheme. Please contact us for further information.

We prefer to successfully complete a project with a customer before financing multiple projects. Track records go a long way though.

There are no set levels, but we expect customers to share the financial risk. Land purchase funds are often sufficient.

We offer up to 65% of the projects gross development value.

24 months from first drawdown.

We only provide finance to support a development to completion and aim to recycle finance quickly to support more customers.

If there are pre-sales and pre-lettings in place sufficient to ensure we are repaid at practical completion. We do not consider speculative commercial schemes.

Bond finance

We can provide loans to finance bonds or guarantees that are required by your customer in order for you to win a new contract. This includes performance bonds, warranty bonds and advance payment guarantees.

We are able to provide loans starting at £100k up to a maximum of £2 million.

You will usually need to make monthly interest payments. Capital is repaid once the bond matures.

We typically provide loans for up to 24 months but in some cases we are able to provide loans over a longer term. Please contact us to discuss your needs.

We are able to provide loans for different contracts provided that the total loan amount outstanding is not over £2 million

There is no limit to the number of times you can apply for a loan, provided that the amount invested within any 36 month period does not exceed £4 million.


Here are some phrases and terms that you may come across on this website. 



Board A board of directors is the governing body of a company. 
Business plan A statement of attainable business goals and a plan for reaching them.
Cash-flow The amount of money transferred in and out of a business over a given period of time.
Co-investor Someone who co-funds a loan or equity investment. 
Financial projection How much money a company will make within a certain time period. 
Investor A person (or organisation) that puts money into a financial scheme.
Interest The percentage of a loan to be repaid – in addition to the original loan. 
Investment The process of investing money for profit.
Liquidity The availability of liquid assets to a market or company – such as cash. 
Loss An amount of money lost by a business or organisation.
Manager/ management team The people who run a company on a day-to-day basis.
Profit A financial gain –  the difference between the amount earned and the amount spent.
PSL Private sector leverage. The amount of private sector money co-invested into a project.  

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are defined in the EU recommendation 2003/361.

The main factors determining whether an enterprise is an SME are:

  1. staff headcount
  2. either turnover of balance sheet total

More details.

Stakeholder A person, business, or organisation with an interest in a business, or those affected by a business’ activities.