The Midlands Engine Investment Fund (“MEIF”) has invested more than £150m into the Midlands’ small businesses since its launch in 2017, making 702 investments in 500 businesses located across both the West and East Midlands. The investment has led to the creation of 1,400 jobs across the region.
An additional £251m of private sector co-investment has also been leveraged as a result of the MEIF’s support.
The Fund was launched by the British Business Bank in partnership with Local Enterprise Partnerships, the Midlands Engine and the UK Government with the aim of improving the finance landscape for smaller businesses in the Midlands. In 2021, an additional £50m was committed to the current MEIF programme, bringing the total investment to £300m.
The D2N2 LEP has contributed £11.75m to the MEIF through the European Regional Development Fund.
The funding has been shared across many sectors, with advanced manufacturing seeing the largest investment – a total of £32.1m to benefit 154 businesses. Other key areas that received funding were life sciences and medical technologies, logistics and business transitioning to a low carbon economy.
In the East Midlands, the Fund recently backed Konetiko, a software company specialising in the industrial internet of things (IOT). The Castle Donnington-based company is set to use the £2.1m funding package to accelerate its international expansion.
Recently, the Fund experienced one of its first successful company exits; Selazar, an E-commerce platform provider located in Castle Donington, was sold by MEIF funding partner Foresight after a 3.4x return on investment.
Minister for Levelling Up, Neil O’Brien MP said: “The Midlands Engine has reached a significant milestone today, with £150 million from its Investment Fund poured into local companies to help them grow and create the jobs the region needs.
“We are committed to levelling up towns and cities across the Midlands and have now published our Levelling Up White paper which outlines our plan for driving growth, improving living conditions and helping communities build back better from the pandemic.”
Patrick Magee, Chief Commercial Officer at the British Business Bank, said: “Through the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, we continue to provide access to finance, which is key to providing smaller businesses with the opportunity to achieve their true growth potential.
“By providing the necessary funds for investing in jobs, innovation and low-carbon initiatives, the fund has been able to support SMEs and boost the region’s economy. Highlighting this milestone, as we also look to our next generation Investment Fund, we hope to build on successes to date from the MEIF as we continue to support and strengthen the levelling up agenda across the Midlands region.”
Midlands Engine Investment Fund
Last year, the MEIF was granted an additional £400m to the future fund – bringing the total for investment into the region to £700m.
Investments from the MEIF are made by seven fund managers working across the West Midlands and East and South East Midlands and are supported by a network of Local Enterprise Partnerships. The Fund offers debt and equity investment between £25k to £2 million.
The Midlands Engine 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.