West Midlands LEPs join forces for £125m Access To Finance Programme
LEPs due to receive allocation from European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF)
Six Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in the West Midlands have agreed to join together to create a major investment fund worth at least £125m, expected to create or safeguard 9,000 jobs and help 400 new businesses to start up.
The Regional Investment Fund will provide a range of programmes to support growing businesses in the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, Black Country, Coventry & Warwickshire, Greater Birmingham & Solihull, Marches and Worcestershire LEP areas.
Each LEP is due to receive an allocation from the European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) to support various work in supporting businesses from 2014 to 2020.
As part of the agreement reached by the six LEPs, each will contribute money from their ESIF into a central fund worth more than £50m.
This will enable the LEPs to access an estimated further £75m, creating a £125m Regional Investment Fund to provide a suite of access to finance programmes that may include loans for small businesses, loan guarantees, seed corn equity, growth equity, mezzanine finance and finance as well as finance for innovation and low carbon businesses.
It is expected the funds to be supported by the Regional Investment Fund will be ready to go from next year.