NPIF announces over £30m invested in Lancashire’s business community

By FW Capital

18 Nov 2020

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The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF), delivered by British Business Bank, has announced it has hit a milestone of over £30m invested in Lancashire’s businesses since the launch of the Fund in 2017. 

Of this total amount, over £14m has been invested directly by NPIF, with almost £19m leveraged from the private sector.

These investments have been made across 60 transactions to 57 small and medium sized businesses across the region, including equity, debt finance and microfinance loans that range from £25,000 to £2m.

Recent investments include Skelmersdale-based manufacturer of connected electrical solutions, Extreme Low Energy (ELe), from NPIF – Maven Equity Finance, managed by Maven Capital Partners. Following a £750,000 equity investment, ELe was able to pivot its product offering to meet this years’ surge in demand for UK staycations. With this funding, the company was able to develop its innovative Eco Off Grid Leisure Kits, which provide individuals with lighting, heating and power in remote locations, such as glamping pods.

Other businesses that have benefited from NPIF funding include Airship Images, a gaming artwork studio based in Lytham St. Annes. The business received a £350,000 investment from NPIF – FW Capital Debt Finance, which will be used by the organisation to take on 11 new team members during the next year.

NPIF has been working hard to support businesses across Lancashire in a wide range of sectors. This includes Burnley-based door hardware manufacturer, Loxta Hardware, which has moved its headquarters and increased its stock following a £50,000 investment from NPIF – BFS & MSIF Microfinance, managed by GC Business Finance and MSIF.

Steve Fogg, chair of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership said: “It is fantastic that nearly 60 of Lancashire's SMEs have taken advantage of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund to help grow or adapt their business through expansion or by capitalising on diversification opportunities. Lancashire has a strong heritage in identifying and applying innovative approaches to satisfy the needs of their markets.  The resilience shown by some of our businesses during these extremely challenging times has been phenomenal and is attributable to a strong entrepreneurial and creative flair which is evident throughout the county.”

Grant Peggie at British Business Bank, said: “Lancashire has a thriving, innovative business community, with hotspots emerging all over the county. We are proud to work with Lancashire LEP and County Council and our Fund Managers to support Lancashire’s small businesses as they continue to grow, despite the challenges of this year. The number of small businesses in Lancashire that have responded flexibly to the pandemic and continue to grow is testament to Lancashire’s tenacity, agility and innovative thinking.”

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.  

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