British Business Bank Introduces £70M Investment Fund for Northern Ireland

The British Business Bank launches a new £70million commitment to support smaller businesses from all sectors right across Northern Ireland.

The Investment Fund for Northern Ireland (IFNI) aims “to drive sustainable economic growth by supporting innovation and creating local opportunities for new and scaling businesses who may have struggled to access finance elsewhere.”

The fund will offer a range of commercial finance options “with both loans and equity investments available for local entrepreneurs. By increasing the supply and diversity of early-stage finance for smaller businesses, the new fund aims to tackle an identified funding gap throughout Northern Ireland.”

The Investment Fund for Northern Ireland is one of “a series of Nations and Regions Investment Funds being launched by the Bank which will deliver a £1.6 billion commitment of new funding to smaller businesses across the UK.”

Two locally based fund managers with extensive experience “supporting smaller business in Northern Ireland will be appointed to manage the new investment fund.”

Whiterock Capital Partners will manage “the debt fund offering loans of £25,000 up to £2million while Clarendon Fund Managers will provide equity stakes in smaller businesses up to £5million.”

Louis Taylor, Chief Executive of the British Business Bank said:

“We know Northern Ireland is home to some excellent business owners who have innovative and brilliant ideas. But we also know that accessing finance for some of these people can be a struggle and that this part of the UK has experienced a funding gap. The launch of the Investment Fund for Northern Ireland will help address these issues and create opportunities for businesses to start up and scale up. We are looking forward to working with our fund managers who have excellent track records of supporting smaller businesses right across Northern Ireland.”

Getting outside Belfast and into more rural areas “so there is a levelling up of finance opportunities is something which is very important to the British Business Bank.”

The Investment Fund for Northern Ireland “can be a game changer for local smaller businesses who play such an important role for our economy through job creation and productivity.”

Chris Heaton-Harris MP, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland said:

“Northern Ireland has a reputation for innovation, and its SMEs are at the forefront of this. I have no doubt that this new £70 million Investment Fund for Northern Ireland, from the UK Government’s British Business Bank, will provide important support for those starting or scaling up their business across the whole of Northern Ireland. As the recent NI Investment Summit showed, Northern Ireland is home to excellent entrepreneurs, and possesses expertise in sectors from tech to businesses at the forefront of our transition to a net zero future.”

This new investment can help them “take the next step in their development and boost the wider local economy.”

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