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British Business Bank launches £200m regional fund

Joe Bevan
Authored by Joe Bevan
Posted: Thursday, July 6, 2023 - 11:00

The British Business Bank today launches the £200m South West Investment Fund aimed at fostering growth and prosperity for small businesses across the South West of England.

The South West Investment Fund (SWIF) will provide funding to small and medium sized businesses across the whole South West region, covering Bristol, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset, and Wiltshire.

The fund will increase the supply and diversity of early-stage finance for new and growing smaller businesses for various purposes, such as expansion, product or service innovation, and new processes, skills or capital equipment. It will offer a range of commercial finance options with loans from £25,000 to £2 million and equity investment up to £5 million.

SWIF is the first in a series of six new Nations and Regions Investment Funds being launched by the British Business Bank, the government-owned business development bank. A total of £1.6 billion has been committed to the new funds to drive sustainable economic growth, which was first announced by the government in the 2021 Spending Review.

Paul Coles, Chief Executive of the South West Business Council, said: “This fund will provide much-needed investment in the region’s businesses, enabling them to thrive, expand, and contribute to the economic prosperity of the South West. We are confident it will drive sustainable economic growth and job creation.”

SWIF will be managed by a team of four fund managers that have been appointed by the British Business Bank including SWIG Finance, FW Capital, Maven and the FSE Group.

John Glen, Chief Secretary to the Treasury and Member of Parliament for Salisbury, said: “The South West is home to some of the most creative, innovative and exciting businesses this country has to offer. This fund will deliver vital investment to nourish that potential, building on over £300 million of levelling up funding to grow the local economy and create well-paid jobs across the region.”

SWIG Finance will manage the smaller loans part of the fund, from £25,000 to £100,000, for the whole South West. FW Capital and Maven will manage the debt (£100k to £2m) and equity (up to £5m) funds respectively for the north of the region. The FSE Group will manage both debt and equity for the South of the region.

Applications for funding are made directly to the relevant fund managers who can be contacted via the SWIF website

Following today’s official launch in Bristol, the British Business Bank will be holding a roadshow for small business finance intermediaries across the region next week to provide more information about the fund. Destinations include Bristol (7 July); St Austell (11 July); Exeter (12 July); Bournemouth (13 July) and Swindon (13 July).

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