Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a £ 200million regional fund for the South West, a key part of the government’s commitment to overcome regional imbalances, especially in access to finance for SMEs.

The new fund, announced as part of the fall expenditure and budget review, will provide large-scale growth capital for businesses and offer a mix of debt and equity financing to help businesses grow and create jobs.

Issued by the British Business Bank, it builds on the success of existing regional funds in operation since 2017, including the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund (CIOSIF) which was launched in 2018 and was set up by the British Business Bank and Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Local Business Partnership (LEP).

Regional funds have helped address market failures in access to finance and are demonstrably effective in supporting regional economic growth, supporting the creation of well-paid and highly productive jobs, improving the skills of the workforce. existing work and supporting the development of regional businesses.

The new South West fund will build on CIOSIF’s success across the region. To date, CIOSIF has invested £ 8.2million in 35 companies, attracting £ 16.2million in additional funding and is expected to create around 400 jobs.

Among his most recent investments is a £ 500,000 stake in Cornish sustainable packaging company Flexi-Hex in a £ 1.25million funding round. The new fund is funded by the government and its design is subject to stakeholder consultation.

Catherine Lewis La Torre, Managing Director of the British Business Bank, said: “Our regional funds focus on areas of the country where it is most difficult to secure access to finance for small businesses.

“We have seen how these funds address these market weaknesses and help change the perceptions of companies and other investors on investment opportunities in the regions. Our Cornwall and Isles of Scilly fund continues to invest in the region and we welcome the opportunity to support small businesses in the wider South West region. “



Catherine Lewis La Torre, Managing Director of the British Business Bank

LEP non-executive director John Acornley, who chairs the CIOSIF advisory board, said: “LEP worked very hard to establish a fund for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly because we knew there was a gap. important in the market for debt and equity financing.

“We are delighted that the British Business Bank can now build on our achievements with a new fund for the South West, as Cornwall will benefit from a thriving regional economy, with more opportunities for business growth and creation. jobs, especially in the post-pandemic recovery. . “

Dan Pritchard, Co-Founder of Tech South West, said: “We welcome the new South West Investment Fund and, on behalf of our members, we will work with the government to ensure it is set up and deployed with success in order to maximize this opportunity. It must target our most promising technology companies across the region.

“Tech South West works for the whole region and we are sometimes very aware of the challenge of accessing investment. It’s not about who cries the loudest, but how we are accelerating growth in the best and most sustainable way for the benefit of the region and the UK.



Business Live’s Southwestern business reporter is William Telford. William has over a decade of experience reporting on the business scene in Plymouth and the South West. It is based in Plymouth but covers the entire region.

To contact William: Email: [email protected] – Phone: 01752 293116 – Mob: 07584 594052 – Twitter: @WTelfordHerald – LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com – Facebook: www.facebook.com/william.telford.5473

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The British Business Bank’s three regional funds – the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, the Midlands Engine Investment Fund and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Fund – and the Northern Ireland Growth Finance Fund have provided more than £ 1 billion in funding for public and private sectors to small businesses in these regions, thus helping to close regional funding gaps.

The government has said it recognizes the success of these funds in their £ 1.6bn commitment to a next generation of funds:

  • £ 660million for the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, including expansion in North East England

  • £ 400m for Midlands Engine investment fund

  • £ 200million to provide a new fund for businesses in southwest England, building on the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly investment fund.

  • £ 150million to provide new fund for Scottish businesses

  • £ 130million to provide new fund for Welsh businesses

  • £ 70million to expand business offer in Northern Ireland