The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) will not only celebrate its fifth anniversary this year but celebrate the investment goal of supporting more than 1,000 businesses.
An estimated total of £334m has been invested in 1,033 businesses across the North since the launch of the NPIF in 2017. But that figure ignores the additional£504m attracted in private sector co-investment, meaning the NPIF has invested a total of around £800m in small businesses during the past 5 years.
Catherine Lewis La Torre, acting CEO of British Business Bank, commented on the landmark: “Supporting over 1,000 businesses across the North of England is a significant milestone for NPIF… This investment has provided these businesses with the capital they needed to invest in R&D and to bring new products and services to market.”
NPIF was originally launched by the British Business Bank using funding provided by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Government and the European Investment Bank.
The fund forms a key part in the Bank supporting the Government’s Levelling Up agenda- which simply aims to reduce regional funding imbalances and create economic prosperity.
The South of England, and more specifically London, has gained attention for having uneven distribution of the countries planned investments over the last couple of decades which has led to Northern territories falling behind. The plan is to change this.
Since its inception, a number of other investments, including rail and net-zero solutions have focused on transforming the North into an equal to its Southern counterparts. But to really rival the South, it is important to uplift the communities that create these cities.
Catherine underlines the importance of this by stating, “This has resulted in increased revenues and has supported local communities through the creation of high quality jobs. ”The stated jobs include local apprenticeships which aim to provide local community youths the opportunity of stable jobs and a way into the workforce, which ultimately will build local economies and positively affect the country as a whole as the scheme continues to grow.
Catherine has also stated that, “As NPIF celebrates its first five years, and as a second NPIF fund has been announced, we recognise that there is still enormous potential for further productive investment in a broad range of businesses with ambitious growth plans across the North of England.”
Establishing a second fund gains major traction in supporting both the local communities of cities such as Liverpool and Manchester and further supports the importance of investment in these areas. As they continue to grow, the more profitable they will become, meaning better investment opportunities and a better lifestyle for those who live in the areas.