In August the British Business Bank announced the first wave of its £250 million Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF), supported by the European Regional Development Fund, with the launch of £120 million worth of SME debt finance, in a move designed to provide greater support to the region’s smaller businesses, accelerate economic growth and promote job creation – in line with the Government’s Midlands Engine Strategy.

The Fund’s launch was marked with the publication of a new report examining the current state of the regional economy and business finance landscape. ‘Spotlight: The Midlands Engine Investment Fund‘, draws on the British Business Bank’s own research and other publicly-available data. It highlights the opportunities available for ambitious, fast-growth businesses across the Midlands Engine area to reach their economic potential.

The report highlights how the MEIF will unlock the potential of the region’s small businesses, while detailing the current economic strengths and parameters of the region:

  • The Midlands economy contributes 13% of the UK’s economic output.
  • 14% of all high-growth businesses are located in the region.

British Business Bank - Midlands Engine Investment FundThe Midlands Engine Investment Fund will play a vital role in fuelling regional growth. It is the result of close collaboration between the British Business Bank, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Department for Communities and Local Government and 10 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in the East & South-East Midlands and West Midlands. It brings together new funding from Central Government, the European Regional Development Fund, British Business Bank and European Investment Bank.

The £120 million fund is composed of two separate lots – £30 million of small business loans valued at £25,000 to £150,000, as well as £90 million of debt finance worth £100,000 to £1.5 million. The £120 million fund is part of a wider £250 million commitment, with further funding to be made available in due course.

To help businesses access the initial £120 million fund, the British Business Bank has appointed regional fund managers. In the East & South-East Midlands, these are:

  • Maven Capital Partners (£40m fund) – offering debt finance options between £100k – £1.5 million. These larger loans are targeted towards more established businesses with a couple of years’ trading history.
  • Enterprise Loans East Midlands (£13m fund) – offering small business loans between £25k – £150k.

For more information on how to access finance from the MEIF and on the nature of funds available, or to read the Spotlight Report, visit the MEIF website or download the Quick Reference Guide.

Furthermore, if you are interested in applying for finance from either of these loan funds, then BHW Solicitors can also support in advising you on the application process.

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially 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.

BHW Solicitors are keen supporters of the MEIF and any initiatives focused on the Midlands region. We have a wide range of lending expertise and are active in both general corporate work (including structuring equity investments) and secured lending work. We work with a number of lenders (both peer-to-peer and institutional) as well as advising borrowers. If you are looking for legal advice on any aspect of business finance, then please contact Matt Worsnop on 0116 281 6235 or by email at

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