The £250m Midlands Engine Investment Fund, aimed at boosting the region’s economy and supporting the growth ambitions of 780,000 smaller businesses within the region, announced in the March 2016 Budget, has suffered set backs.
The hold up is said to be due to issues with the procurement process and midlands engine bosses learned that the money will not be available until early August now – and that only 60% will be distributed to businesses.
Maria Machancoses, programme director, Midlands Engine, explains: “There has been an unfortunate delay in the launch of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund due to some issues identified by the British Business Bank (BBB) in the procurement process for awarding contracts for the Equity and Proof-of-Concept funds. BBB are confident these funds will now be launched in the Autumn, with 60% of the total fund made up of debt and small business funds to be open for investment in early August.
“The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is aimed at boosting the region’s economy and supporting the growth ambitions of the 780,000 smaller businesses within the region and as such is an important aspect of the Midlands Engine Partnership. We will work closely with BBB to ensure its successful delivery.”
The Fund is a joint agreement between the British Business Bank and eleven Local Enterprise Partnerships across the Midlands. It is designed to bring forward legacy funding from existing programmes, new funding from the British Business Bank and new European funding.