Briefing to outline new funding opportunities for businesses

February 28, 2018

The British Business Bank and the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership are to host a regional briefing in Telford next week for businesses on a new £250m funding pot available for SMEs.

Details of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF), which includes start-up loans, proof of concept funding, debt and equity finance, will be revealed at the University of Wolverhampton’s Telford Innovation campus on March 7.

The Telford event is one of ten regional briefings, co-hosted by the British Business Bank and the Local Enterprise Partnerships, aimed at business advisers and companies looking for alternative funding options to support growth.

There are four different funding options designed to plug common gaps in the provision of finance:

  • start-ups and small business loans of between £25,000 and £150,000

  • business loans for companies looking for capital of between £100,00 and £1.5m;

  • equity finance of up to £2m for more established companies with high growth potential

  • proof of concept early stage equity funding up to £750,000

Fund managers for each option will present at the event.

Gill Hamer, Director of the Marches LEP, said the new fund was aimed at providing small and medium-sized businesses with increased flexibility in the types of funding available, as well as boosting investment levels in the Midlands. It aims to help 1,400 SMEs and create 3,800 jobs.

We know that one of the biggest barriers to growth for our companies in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, is access to finance. The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is an exciting new opportunity for SMEs that have plans for growth. It will also encourage economic growth in the wider Midlands region through investment.

This event is the first chance for our business intermediaries and high growth potential SMEs, to hear first hand about the financial support available,” she added.

Speakers at the event include a representative from the British Business Bank, Gill Hamer, Director of the Marches LEP, and the fund managers for each of the four funding options.

The fund has been established in conjunction with the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the UK Government and is being delivered in the Midlands by fund managers BCRS, Maven Capital Limited, Midven Ltd and Mercia Technologies PLC.

MEIF is being promoted via the Marches Growth Hub, the one-stop-shop for information on business support in the region, at where you can find further information on funding and finance options.

To book a place at the Telford event, which runs from 8am to 10am, click here

A further event will be held in Malvern, Worcestershire, on March 8 at the Three Counties Showground. For more information on the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, go to

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The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership has now ceased trading and transferred all its functions to Shropshire Council working with Telford & Wrekin Council and Herefordshire Council, in line with the UK Government's plans for devolution.

The Marches LEP was established in 2011 and hands over an impressive legacy from its 13-year life. In that time the LEP invested over £196m in projects across the Marches, securing in excess of £100m of match funding and supported more than 66,000 business interactions.

The schemes supported have made tangible differences to local communities, increasing skills, creating jobs and improving the physical appearance of many towns.

We would like to thank all the LEP Board Members who have given their time freely over the life of the LEP, as well as all the staff who worked for the LEP over the years. We also want to thank our delivery partners, local education providers and local, regional and national stakeholders who helped us achieve so much.

The Marches Growth Hub will continue to support businesses and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford and Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Each of the three Local Authorities will also continue to provide direct business support locally. Details of this support will be available through the Marches Growth Hub website and from the Local Authorities directly. Website: | email:

The Marches Careers Hub will continue to be delivered and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford & Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Website: | email:

For any queries about Getting Building Fund (GBF), Local Growth Fund (LGF) and Marches Investment Fund (MIF) projects supported by the Marches LEP please contact:

For any finance queries please contact:

The solvent liquidation of the Marches LEP is being managed by the Evelyn Partners Limited. For any matter related to this please contact:

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