Patrick Magee

The fund has made 702 investments in 500 companies located in the West and East Midlands and has helped create over 1,400 jobs.

An additional co-investment of £251m from the private sector has also been leveraged through MEIF support.

The fund was launched by the British Business Bank with Local Enterprise Partnerships, the Midlands Engine and the UK Government with the aim of improving the financial landscape for small businesses in the Midlands.

Last year, a further £50m was committed to the current MEIF scheme, bringing the total investment to £300m.

The sector that has benefited the most from MEIF is advanced manufacturing, with 154 investments totaling £32.1m. Other key areas that received funding were life sciences and medtech, logistics, and transitioning businesses to a low-carbon economy.

One of MEIF’s latest investments has been in Halesowen-based infrared heater manufacturer Jigsaw, with a £250,000 investment to expand its operations, creating 20 new jobs.

Patrick Magee, Commercial Director of the British Business Bank, said: “Through the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, we continue to provide access to finance, which is essential in giving small businesses the opportunity to realize their true growth potential.

“By providing the funds needed to invest in jobs, innovation and low-carbon initiatives, the fund has been able to support SMEs and boost the region’s economy.

“Underlining this important milestone, as we also look to our next generation investment fund, we look forward to building on MEIF’s successes to date while continuing to support and strengthen the upgrade program in the Midlands region.”

Leveling Up Minister Neil O’Brien said: “The Midlands Engine has reached an important milestone today, with £150m from its investment fund disbursed to local businesses to help them grow and create the jobs the region needs.

“We are committed to leveling Midlands towns and have now published our Leveling Up white paper which outlines our plan to drive growth, improve lives and help communities build back better after the pandemic.”

Jon Corbett, Chairman of the Strategic Oversight Council, said: “Since its launch in 2017, the fund has fostered a true sense of regional collaboration through our seven fund managers, our network of local business partnerships, our intermediaries and other partners.

“This has been key to the £150m delivered to date and will continue to play a role in the future, with a further £400m committed to a future fund, as MEIF transforms the financial landscape for small Midlands businesses.”

Last year, the MEIF received an additional £400m for the future fund, bringing the total investment in the region to £700m.

MEIF investments are made by seven fund managers working in the West Midlands and the East and South East Midlands, and are supported by a network of local business partnerships. The fund offers debt and equity investments between £25,000 and £2 million.

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is financially supported by the European Union, with funding from the European Regional Development Fund under the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Program 2014-2020 and the European Bank of investment.