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North West milestone

Start Up Loans celebrates £250 million of loans to businesses in Western England

  • Since launching in 2012, Start Up Loans has delivered over 29,000 loans worth more than £266 million, to businesses in the North West, West Midlands and South West with the average loan being £9,440
  • Counties in the North West receiving the most funding since 2012 include Greater Manchester and Lancashire
  • 8,495 loans drawn down by recipients in Western England since 1 April 2020 totalling £100 million
  • 37% of the total value of loans in the North West delivered since the pandemic began

Start Up Loans, part of the British Business Bank, announces that the programme has delivered over 29,088 loans worth more than £266 million to businesses along the West of England. The figures point to the spirit of entrepreneurship across the West of the country.

The North West has received the most funding since 2012, more than £112 million (12,314 loans), while the South West and West Midlands have received over £78 million (8,543 loans) and £76 million (8,231 loans) respectively.

Of these loans, 3,460 amounting to more than £41 million were drawn down in the region since the pandemic began; this equates to 37% of the total value of loans delivered over the lifetime of the programme.

Impressive figures for entrepreneurship during the pandemic show how people have been helped by Start Up Loans to launch their own businesses when conditions in the job market were difficult.

UK RegionLoans MadeAmount Lent (£)Average Loan Amount (£)
North West12,314112,100,7339,350
South West8,54378,441,6869,112
West Midlands8,23176,125,1919,897

Listed in the below table are the counties throughout the West to receive the most loans since 2012. Top counties in the North West include Greater Manchester, which received more than £46 million in funding, and Lancashire which received over £23 million in funding.

West England Loan Values 2012-2022

NB: Full data table available in Notes to Editors

Of the total 29,088 loans in Western regions, 39% have been to women and 14% to people from Black, Asian and Other Ethnic Minority backgrounds (not including White Minorities). Young people between 18-24 years old have received 14% of loans in Western England since 2012, and 30% of the total loans made to people in the same age bracket nationally since the scheme began in 2012.

Small Business Minister Kevin Hollinrake said:

“If we are to unlock economic growth, we need to remove the barriers faced by the UK’s most innovative entrepreneurs when it comes to accessing funding and growing their business. Backed by more than 12,314 loans worth more than £112 million our most dynamic small businesses across the North West have been able to tap into government support to flourish and fast-track their business ideas and innovations to market.”

Sophie Dale-Black, Director, UK Network – Midlands and North of England said:

“It’s a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit of the North West that we’re celebrating such a significant milestone, well over a quarter of a billion pounds, invested across the Western regions since 2012. I am particularly proud of the fact that we have been able to support such a huge volume of young aspiring business people and their start up ventures in the West, which represents 30% of the total across the entire of the UK.”

Selina Ellis-Gray, founder of Hellion Toys, Clitheroe, North West said:

“The business community in the North West is vibrant. Supporting other business has been one of the pleasures of being in business myself, especially seeing the positive impact working together can have on small family run companies and independents.”

UK RegionCountyLoans MadeAmount Lent (£)Average Loan Amount (£)
North WestGreater Manchester4,80946,006,1929,567
West MidlandsWest Midlands4,44238,191,8358,598
North WestLancashire2,85523,475,5698,223
North WestMerseyside2,62922,110,6758,410
South WestDevon1,89018,049,2019,550
North WestCheshire1,56815,747,65810,043
South WestCornwall and Isles of Scilly1,31913,280,54410,069
West MidlandsStaffordshire1,38113,123,4699,503
South WestDorset1,15011,127,1719,676
South WestGloucestershire1,14310,453,5009,146
South WestSomerset1,25910,242,3878,135
South WestWiltshire8758,743,6989,993
West MidlandsWarwickshire7518,139,17910,838
West MidlandsWorcestershire7177,416,01710,343
West MidlandsShropshire7166,916,5969,660
South WestBristol, City of (UA)9076,545,1857,216
North WestCumbria4534,760,64010,509
West MidlandsHerefordshire (Former County)2242,338,09510,438

About Start Up Loans

The Start Up Loans programme provides personal loans for business purposes of up to £25,000 at a 6% fixed interest rate per annum and offers free dedicated mentoring and support to each business.

The primary aim of the Start Up Loans programme is to ensure that viable start-ups and early-stage businesses have access to the finance and support they need in order to thrive. A network of Delivery Partner organisations supports applicants in all regions and industries throughout the UK. The Start Up Loans programme is not designed to generate a commercial profit. Capital payments together with the interest are recycled to help meet our customers’ increasing demands for finance.

Free guides on a range of subjects related to starting a business and recent media press releases are available on the Start Up Loans website.

The funding for the Start Up Loans programme is provided by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). A development bank wholly government-owned by BEIS, the British Business Bank plc is not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The British Business Bank and its subsidiary entities are not banking institutions and do not operate as such.

The British Business Bank makes finance markets for smaller businesses work better, helping the sector to prosper, to grow and to build economic activity.

Key Statistics

  • Since its inception in 2012, the Start Up Loans scheme has delivered almost 99,800 loans, providing more than £934 million of funding.
  • In the financial year 2021/22, the scheme provided 12,433 loans with a total value of approximately £152.4 million.
  • The economic benefits of the Start Up Loans programme are almost six (5.7) times its economic costs.
  • At Spending Review 2021, the Chancellor announced resources to provide 33,000 Start Up Loans over next three years.

Aside from the return-on-investment numbers these statistics are gross estimates and based on Start Up Loans CRM along with externally commissioned research undertaken by SQW Ltd, with support from BMG Research. Since 2012, 5% of loans went to people formerly unemployed or economically inactive. Some 40% of loan recipients were women and 21% were from Black, Asian and Other Ethnic Minority backgrounds (not including White Minorities).