The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) has invested £31 million in 207 Northern-based SMEs during the first 12 months of operation, as the Fund continues to provide a boost to the Northern economy.

The £400m Fund, which is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, HM Government and the European Investment Bank, was launched by the British Business Bank as a key part of the government’s ‘Northern Powerhouse’ vision to back innovative, fast-growing small business.

Over the last 12 months, NPIF has worked with the 10 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), Combined Authorities, as well as local accountants, fund managers and banks, to provide a mix of debt and equity capital to SMEs in the North West, Yorkshire & Humber and Tees Valley regions.

Appointed fund managers have completed deals between £25k to £2m into businesses across a range of industries, including technology and advanced manufacturing and life sciences.

Investments have been completed across all 10 LEP areas and the Fund has also managed to leverage an additional £32m in private sector finance for local businesses.

Recent NPIF investments in the North West region include a £150,000 loan from NPIF – FW Capital Debt Finance, managed by FW Capital, into Lancashire-based Inleaf, which provides plant displays and living wall installations to offices, hotels, car dealerships and public spaces.

It has also made an £80,000 microfinance loan from NPIF – BFS & MSIF Microfinance, into Liverpool-based Inovus Medical which manufactures medical and training products used by doctors and surgeons across the globe, delivered by MSIF.

The additional source of funding has enabled these businesses to meet growth ambitions, launch new products, expand into new markets and invest in new infrastructure.

“It is fantastic to see NPIF making a genuine impact to businesses in the North of England,” said British Business Bank CEO Keith Morgan.

“The number of significant milestones achieved over the last 12 months demonstrates the success of the regional funding models and the importance of people on the ground ensuring vital funds are efficiently invested in high-growth businesses.

“I am thoroughly impressed by the collaborative effort demonstrated by our appointed fund managers and the participating LEPs, and I would like to thank them all for helping to deliver a successful model that will now be rolled out in the Midlands as the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF).”

Jake Berry, Northern Powerhouse Minister, said: “What the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund has achieved in such a short space of time is truly remarkable.

“The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund has given businesses across a wide range of industries the funds they need to innovate and grow - whether that be expanding into emerging markets, investing in research and development or hiring new staff to help their company flourish.”

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund provides microloans, debt and equity investments, ranging from £25,000 to £2m to help a range of small and medium sized businesses to start up, scale up or stay ahead.

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is delivered by The British Business Bank.

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.

For more information about Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, please visit www.npif.co.uk.