NPIF Leeds investment tops £20m

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) has now invested more than £20m in businesses in the Leeds City Region since its launch in 2017.

The NPIF, overseen by the British Business Bank, has completed 104 investments in Leeds City Region-based SMEs across a range of sectors including ICT and manufacturing, which received £5.5m and £5.17m respectively.

Notable investments include Bababing, a manufacturer of childcare products such as changing bags, high chairs and strollers. The company received £125,000 from NPIF – Mercia Debt Finance, which is managed by Mercia Fund Managers, to support the development of a new pushchair range and hire additional staff.

Huddersfield-based Adventoris, which developed a software platform, SwiftCloud, to enable businesses to receive sales orders directly from their B2B customers via a mobile app, was also backed. The company secured a £500,000 investment from NPIF - Mercia Equity Finance, Angel CoFund and private investors in 2017 and has since grown its turnover by 500 per cent.

Roger Marsh, chair of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and NPIF SOB, said: "This investment will help to accelerate the growth of SMEs across our region and will help to ensure this is the best place in the UK to start, develop and grow a business.

"Support of this kind is vital to help achieve the LEP's ambitions of helping businesses grow, attracting new investment to our region and developing the skills, energy and digital infrastructure to create jobs and prosperity."

Ken Cooper, managing director at British Business Bank, added: "The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund's performance in the Leeds City Region shows that there are great businesses here looking to grow with the right kind of finance.  The NPIF funds provide additional options for businesses that might not be right for traditional bank lending and a growing number of companies are taking advantage of that to boost their growth.

"Whilst we've made great progress, there is still work to be done if we are to reduce the disparities between the North and the South. To that end, we will continue to support increased levels of investment to back ambitious SMEs that will boost economic prosperity in the North of England."

Since its launch in February 2017, NPIF has provided equity finance, debt finance, and microfinance solutions, ranging in size from £25,000 to £2m to businesses across the ten local enterprise partnerships (LEP) that make up the Northern Powerhouse.