EU Funding. Funding - 20 December 2017

First investments for £250m Midlands Engine Investment Fund

A life sciences business in the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership area has become one of the first companies to receive financial help from the £250million Midlands Engine Investment Fund.

In August (2017) the British Business Bank said £120million (of debt finance) for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) would be released from the larger £250million Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF); a Midlands-wide fund to eliminate regional imbalances in business funding, and enable companies to expand.

The MEIF is a joint initiative by the British Business Bank; Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; Department for Communities and Local Government; and ten Midlands Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), including the D2N2 LEP. The £250m is made up of Government, British Business Bank and the European Investment Bank (EIB) funding; and EU funding drawn from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) money previously allocated to LEPs. Up to £78.5m in MEIF funds will come from the Midlands LEPs, including £11.75m from the D2N2 LEP.

Among the first sums granted to Midlands companies, via the MEIF, includes one of £50,000 to life sciences company Olberon Medical Innovation in Basford, Nottingham. The research, development and design company has created a cannulation device – a device inserted into a vein to allow blood sampling, or to inject fluids or medications – for the medical industry.

It’s believed the additional MEIF funding will have a significant impact on commercial sales of the device, by allowing Olberon to develop distribution links and marketing.

Life sciences is one of the eight key sectors the D2N2 LEP is focused on.

Other MEIF loans have gone to Leicester-based BCME; Direct Digital Controls, in Brierley Hill, West Midlands; and Milton Keynes-based Renewable ON Ltd.

Nick Pulley, Chair of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund’s Strategic Oversight Board, said: “It is heartening to see the first businesses tap into the opportunities presented by the Midlands Engine Investment Fund and having built a strong pipeline of deals, the fund is well set to accelerate this progress. SMEs that are in the market for external finance and have growth aspirations should check the website and seek out fund managers to find out how the MEIF could take their business to the next level.”

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund website is at http://meif.co.uk/

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund 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.

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund, supported by the ERDF, will invest in debt finance, small business loans, proof-of-concept and equity finance funds; ranging in size from £25,000 to £2million, specifically to help SMEs secure funding for growth and development.

The MEIF covers the LEP areas of D2N2 (Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham & Nottinghamshire), Greater Lincolnshire, Leicester and Leicestershire, and South-East Midlands in the East Midlands; and the Black Country, Coventry & Warwickshire, Greater Birmingham & Solihull, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, The Marches, and Worcestershire in the West Midlands.

For further information about the work of the D2N2 LEP contact Communications Manager Sean Kirby on 0115 957 8749 or email: sean.kirby@d2n2lep.org 

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