The Northern economy has been boosted by £134m as a result of 138 FW Capital investments in the past financial year, new figures have shown.
The investments, valued at £43m, have helped SMEs in the area leverage private sector investment totalling over £91m, creating or safeguarding 935 jobs. Two of the sectors most invested in by FW Capital are manufacturing and construction, both key to the levelling up agenda.
The remarkable figures come as the British Business Bank has accredited FW Capital under the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS), that will be used in conjunction with the deployment of loans from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF).
The RLS supports lenders providing access to finance for UK businesses as they recover and grow following the Covid-19 pandemic. It can be used for any legitimate business purpose, including managing cashflow, investment and growth for businesses affected by Covid-19.
FW Capital previously delivered almost £50m to businesses from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), which closed for applications at the end of March. Businesses who have taken out a CBILS, CLBILS or BBLS facility are able to access the new scheme.
Joanne Whitfield, FW Capital’s Fund Director in the North East, said: “We are dedicated to providing Northern businesses with the funding they need to reach their full potential. As these outstanding figures show, FW Capital has played a central part in the levelling up agenda over what has been a very uncertain period, with our investments injecting £134m of much-needed growth capital into the Northern economy.
“Our accreditation under the Recovery Loan Scheme for NPIF loans will allow us to continue our work to support even more SMEs in our region to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and continue to grow in the future. We are delighted to be working with the British Business Bank as an RLS lender.”
Gary Guest, FW Capital’s Fund Director in the North West, said: “FW Capital has played an important part in the levelling up agenda, helping to deliver vital funding to 138 businesses across the North this year, securing 935 jobs.
“Access to the right funding and support is vital for SMES to fully recover and grow following the unprecedented disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. As an accredited RLS lender, FW Capital is ready to provide SMEs in our region with the investment they need at this critical time.”
FW Capital provides loans of £100,000 to £750,000 to businesses based in the NPIF region with a focus on the North West, Cumbria and Tees Valley.
Operating from the British Business Bank’s Sheffield head office, the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund provides a mix of debt and equity funding (£25,000 to £2m). It works alongside ten Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), the combined authorities and Growth Hubs, as well as local accountants, fund managers and banks, to support Northern-based SMEs at all stages of their development.
The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund 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 and the European Investment Bank.