Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund
July 2017 update
The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is working in partnership with the British Business Bank to create an Investment Fund for the CIoS LEP area. The fund, which would provide loans and equity investments rather than grants to help local businesses grow and create jobs, is seen as a vital tool to support the local economy after the UK has left the European Union in 2019.
A public funding package of just over £40 million is currently being put together, with funds from the LEP, Government and the EU Growth Programme. The Government-owned British Business Bank will set up and operate the fund for the first 10 years. This public fund is anticipated to unlock at least a further £40 million from private investment. This will create a revolving investment fund to which businesses can apply for start-up and growth investment in perpetuity.
It has long been the LEP’s ambition to establish a new investment fund and it has worked closely with the local financial community to help shape it and evidence demand.
Mark Duddridge, chair of the LEP, said: “We know there is huge demand from business for new sources of investment, and we need to wean our economy off the grant culture in preparation for life after Brexit. There is still much to do but taking this fund forward is key to sustainable business investment into the future.”
Over the coming months the British Business Bank will make a formal application for around £32 million already earmarked for the new fund from the EU Growth Programme, and will set about procuring a fund manager for the new investment fund.
The LEP plans to invest over £5 million in the project from existing funds. The LEP already has a good track-record of investing in this way with through its Growing Places Fund. This is a £5.9m pot of money secured by the LEP in 2012 to support growth by providing repayable loans. It has already helped Pendennis Shipyard in Falmouth, Warrens Bakery in St Just and Wombwell Homes in Lostwithiel create new jobs and homes. As money is repaid with interest, it can be reinvested in other projects that support economic growth.
The LEP hopes that the new investment fund will be open and accepting applications in the first quarter of next year.
Last updated: July 2017