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07/02/2014
West Midlands LEPs announce new finance programme

The Black Country is one of half a dozen areas to benefit from a new £125 million fund, thanks to cooperation between each of the areas’ local enterprise partnerships.

The six partnerships in the West Midlands have agreed to collaborate on a new £125m Regional Investment Fund (RIF), set to improve access to finance for hundreds of companies across the region.

The new fund is expected to create or safeguard 9,000 jobs and help 400 new businesses to start up.

The RIF will provide a range of programmes to support growing businesses in the Black Country, Coventry & Warwickshire, Greater Birmingham & Solihull, Marches, Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire and Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas.

Each LEP is due to receive an allocation from the European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) to support various work in supporting businesses for 2014 and 2020.

As part of the agreement reached by the six LEPs, each will contribute money from their ESIF into a central fund worth more than £50m.

Paul Brown, Access to Finance lead on the Black Country LEP Board, said, "This is excellent news for businesses in the Black Country who are looking to grow and create jobs. There is still significant work to be done to set up the mechanisms to deliver these funds to businesses, by reaching this agreement we have taken a huge step forward.”

This will enable the LEPs to access an estimated further £75m, creating a £125m Regional Investment Fund to provide a suite of access to finance programmes that may include loans for small businesses, loan guarantees, seed corn equity, growth equity, mezzanine finance and finance as well as finance for innovation and low carbon businesses.

For more information about currently available funding programmes, just visit the Access to Finance page.

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