The funding from Clydesdale Bank, Lloyds, RBS and Santander, together with £55 million from the public sector, means more than £94 million has been raised for the fund that will target Scottish small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
Lloyds, RBS and Santander each invested £9.4 million, with the potential to rise to £15 million as the fund grows, while Clydesdale Bank and other unnamed investors have each invested £5 million. The fund will invest in businesses of up to 250 staff and with an annual turnover of more than £1 million that are high-growth, or planning to grow and export. Mezzanine loans of between £250,000 and £5 million are available.
So far 62 businesses have applied for backing since the fund was launched in January this year. Maven Capital Partners, which manages the project in conjunction with the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB), aims to announce the first recipient of a loan in April.
Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond says lending remains a major issue for SMEs in Scotland, and the commitment of the banks should lead to other major players backing the fund. He adds the investment takes it closing to achieving its target of £150 million.
Salmond adds, ‘Growing and exporting firms make a significant contribution to Scotland’s economy and this fund targets their need to access to a broader range of finance than is currently available.’