The British Business Bank (BBB) has launched a landmark new report looking at the opportunities for small business in the so-called ‘Northern Powerhouse’ regions. The report claims that the Northern Powerhouse accounts for 21% of the UK’s high growth businesses (those that grow their staff by 20% or more per year over three years, having started with over 10 employees) – competitive with any English region outside of London.
And, ahead of the launch next year of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) the report suggests that SMEs in the region are set to pursue even more growth. The £400m fund is the result of close collaboration between the British Business Bank and the ten Local Enterprise Partnerships in the North West, Yorkshire and the Humber, and the Tees Valley.
Speaking at the launch of the report, Northern Powerhouse Minister Andrew Percy said: “We are committed to building a Northern Powerhouse which helps the great cities and towns of the North pool their strengths to take on the world.
“Now an extra £500 million will be invested into the Northern Powerhouse to back local businesses with the power and resources they need to achieve their untapped potential.”
Small business minister, Margot James said: “There are a record number of businesses in the UK, and the Northern Powerhouse is home to more than one million of them.
“The British Business Bank has made a significant impact over the last two years and this report highlights how it has been helping businesses start-up, scale-up and then stay ahead. Next year the bank will support the delivery of the £400m Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, unlocking the growth potential in the North of England, creating secure jobs and powering local economies as part of our Industrial Strategy.”
‘Revitalising local economies and creating jobs’
Keith Morgan, British Business Bank CEO, said: “NPIF is an exceptionally important programme for the Bank. Working collaboratively with the ten LEPs in the North of England, we are bringing together a range of funding sources to help small businesses achieve their growth ambitions, revitalise local economies and create jobs.
“I am proud to be launching this spotlight report in the month that we mark our second anniversary. It is very encouraging to see the impact our programmes have made in unlocking finance for UK smaller businesses, delivering £4bn of funding through our 90 partners across the country.”