May 24 2016.

The British Business Bank has launched the initial phase of Help to Grow, which is expected to support around £200m of growth loans in its first two years. The Prime Minister announced the programme in February 2015.

The first £30m tranche of lending supported by Help to Grow will be available to growing businesses through Lloyds Banking Group.

Loans of up to £2 million will support the development of new products and processes, stimulate research and innovation and help businesses target new export markets.

The lending will be available to businesses across all sectors, and is expected to benefit most those with high levels of innovation and growth ambition – such as manufacturing businesses, creative industries and the technology sector.

The initial phase of Help to Grow was increased from £100m to £200m in the Chancellor’s Budget in March 2016.

Keith Morgan, CEO, British Business Bank, said: “This first £30m of the British Business Bank’s Help to Grow programme will enable innovative and ambitious smaller businesses to raise the debt they need to fund their growth opportunities. It is an important milestone for the British Business Bank in our ambitions to encourage and support UK businesses to scale-up and achieve their potential.

“We want to replicate the drive and dynamism evident in the UKs start-up culture in later stages of the small business journey, and Help To Grow has a critical role to play in achieving that.

“We are pleased to announce our partnership with Lloyds Banking Group and to be working with the European Investment Fund to bring this vitally important finance to the UK market.”

The InnovFin counter-guarantee agreement between EIF and British Business Finance Limited (BBFL) for the initial £30m tranche of the ‘Help to Grow’ programme will enable BBFL to provide guarantees to Lloyds Banking Group on bank loans to innovative companies in the United Kingdom over the next two years.

The agreement is supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe.

Lenders wishing to apply for support from the Help to Grow programme can find out more HERE.