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The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF), delivered by British Business Bank, has made 66 investments in 47 York, North Yorkshire & East Riding based small growing businesses, with funding exceeding £23m in the region.

NPIF which has been investing since February 2017, delivering equity finance, debt finance, and microfinance solutions ranging in size from £25,000 to £2m to businesses in the region works closely with the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership and Growth Hub. 

The total £23m invested includes £16.2m directly from NPIF, along with a further £7.7m from private investors. Recent investments include York-based Country Products, a wholesale supplier of healthy snacks such as dried fruit and nuts. The company received a £100,000 loan from NPIF – Mercia Debt Finance, which is managed by Mercia, to give it the growth capital required to purchase additional stock and take on more staff. The company also has ambitions of developing its own range of products. 

Another recent investment includes Northallerton-based GI Medical, which received a £650,000 investment from NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance. The company, which specialises in gastroenterology products, offers NHS and private healthcare providers the latest innovative technologies to improve patient care and reduce costs. The funding has allowed the company to develop its global supply partnerships, expand its sales and marketing strategy and recruit new staff. 

NPIF is also actively supporting businesses which have been adversely impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, providing loans backed by the CBILS scheme. 

NPIF – BEF & FFE Microfinance, managed by BEF and Finance for Enterprise recently provided a £50,000 NPIF CBILS-backed loan to Yorkshire Dales Building Consultancy Ltd, a Leyburn based corporate approved inspector which carries out building control duties on construction projects. The company experienced a slowdown after the coronavirus impacted the UK’s construction sector, and the loan, provided by BEF has helped the business throughout the lockdown period. The company, which was founded in 2009, had enjoyed an increase in revenues after it set up a new premise in Leeds last year.   

David Dickson, Chair of the Infrastructure and Joint Assets Board of York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This is a fantastic milestone for NPIF funding in York and North Yorkshire. This level of investment has unlocked economic growth, created new jobs and encouraged private sector follow on investment. We’re pleased to support NPIF investment in York and North Yorkshire and we hope there will be ongoing take up from SMEs in our area. 

Grant Peggie, Director at British Business Bank, said: “We have been impressed with the hard work shown by the NPIF Fund Managers over the last three years, which has resulted in £23m worth of investment being provided to York, North Yorkshire and East Riding’s growing businesses. We expect that, due to the current economic climate, appetite for external finance will remain high as businesses seek support during the outbreak and beyond. With the help of our Fund Managers, we will look to maintain this momentum and continue to provide vital investment to the North’s businesses.” 

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. 

Bethany Wright
Article by Bethany Wright
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