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MEIF invests £150 million into region’s businesses

Posted on 11 Feb 2022 and read 2172 times
MEIF invests £150 million into region’s businesses From left to right: Jon Corbett, chair of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund's Strategic Oversight, Neil O’Brien, Minister for Levelling Up, Patrick Magee, chief commercial officer at the British Business Bank

Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) has invested more than £150 million into the region’s small businesses since its launch in 2017 and led to the creation of over 1,400 jobs. This milestone was reached by the fund after making 702 investments in 500 businesses located across both the West and East Midlands. An additional £251 million of private sector co-investment has also been leveraged as a result of the MEIF’s support.

The fund was originally established by the British Business Bank in partnership with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), the Midlands Engine and the UK Government with the specific aim of improving the finance landscape for smaller businesses in the Midlands. In 2021, an additional £50 million was committed to the current MEIF programme, bringing the total investment to £300 million.

The sector that benefitted the most from the MEIF has been advanced manufacturing, with 154 investments totalling £32.1 million. Other key areas that received funding were life sciences and medical technologies, logistics and business transitioning to a low-carbon economy.

One of the latest MEIF investments was in Halesowen-based Jigsaw, an infra-red heating manufacturer, with a £250,000 investment to scale up its operations — creating 20 new jobs in the process.

In the East Midlands, the fund recently backed Castle Donnington-based Konetiko, a software company specialising in the industrial internet of things (IOT). The company is planning to use the £2.1 million funding package to accelerate its international expansion.

Recently, the MEIF experienced one of its first successful company exits; Selazar, an E-commerce platform provider located in Castle Donington, was sold by MEIF funding partner Foresight realising a 3.4-times return on investment.

Neil O’Brien MP, Minister for Levelling Up, said: “The Midlands Engine has reached a significant milestone, with £150 million from its Investment Fund poured into local companies to help them grow and create the jobs the region needs.

“We are committed to levelling up towns and cities around the region and have now published our Levelling Up white paper which outlines our plan for driving growth, improving living conditions and helping communities build back better from the pandemic.”

Patrick Magee, chief commercial officer at the British Business Bank, said: “Through the MEIF, we continue to provide access to finance, which is key to providing smaller businesses with the opportunity to achieve their true growth potential.

“By providing the necessary funds for investing in jobs, innovation and low-carbon initiatives, the fund has been able to support SMEs and boost the region’s economy.”

Jon Corbett, chair of the Strategic Oversight Board, added: “Since launching in 2017, MEIF has fostered a real sense of regional collaboration through our seven fund managers, network of LEPs, intermediaries and other partners.

“This has been pivotal to the £150 million delivered to date and will continue to play a role into the future, with an additional £400 million committed to a future fund, as the MEIF transforms the finance landscape for small businesses across the Midlands.”

The MEIF offers debt and equity investment between £25,000 and £2 million and is supported by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.