More than 150 local companies benefit from £50 million in grants

More than 150 companies have received £50 million in funding since the launch of a new investment programme last year. The Midlands Engine Investment Fund was set up to address a market gap in finance available to small and medium enterprises across the region.

The £250 million fund is run by the Government's British Business Bank and was launched with the aim of making debt and equity investments from £25,000 to £2 million to help SMEs secure the funding they need for growth and development. MEIF said the most active sector to receive investment had been manufacturing followed by agri-tech, life sciences and transport technologies.

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said: "As Midlands Engine Champion in Cabinet, I am determined the Midlands should harness its full potential and be at the heart of an economy that works for everyone.

"A community where businesses and people can thrive, through well-paid jobs, high standards of living and greater economic growth are at the very core of our ambitions for people in this area.

"An invigorated Midlands Engine is pivotal to our Modern Industrial Strategy.

"This is why it's an enormous pleasure to celebrate the contribution the Midlands Engine Investment Fund continues to make in supporting SME businesses to grow, boost the area's productivity and make the Midlands an even better place to do business."