Foresight appointed equity fund manager for Midlands Engine Investment Fund

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  • Secretary of State Sajid Javid announced the launch of three funds providing up to £100 million of equity finance to redress a regional imbalance in SME funding options
  • Launch is the latest wave of the £250 million Midlands Engine Investment Fund
  • Builds on over £1 billion of funding already being provided by the British Business Bank to growing SMEs across the Midlands
  • Foresight’s focus will be East and South-East Midlands regions

Nottingham, 23 February 2018 – Foresight Group (“Foresight”) is pleased to have been appointed equity fund manager for the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (“MEIF”), as the British Business Bank (“BBB”) launches up to £100 million of equity funding for the region, as part of the wider £250 million Midlands Engine programme.

To view or read this announcement as a pdf please click here.

With an initial capital allocation of £35 million, over the next five years Foresight will make equity investments of between c.£100k and £2m in growing small and medium sized businesses across the East and South-East Midlands. Working with the region’s Local Enterprise Partnerships and the business community, the new funding will broaden the funding options and opportunities available to Midlands’ businesses.

Foresight will be responsible for helping fund and support promising SMEs within the region, creating economic growth and job creation through enterprise and commercial returns for investors. Foresight has a strong track record of regional SME investment, with two institutional regional funds managed from offices in Nottingham and Manchester and an extensive network of more than 1,300 active corporate finance advisers and other professional SME advisers across the country.

James Livingston, Partner at Foresight, said: “We are delighted to have been appointed an equity fund manager for the Midlands Engine Investment Fund. Having established two successful regional investment funds, we’ve built up an extensive network of key contacts which we can use to our advantage when deploying the MEIF. As well as creating jobs and supporting the growth of businesses in the Midlands, it will also see us opening two new regional offices and hiring additional investment staff to support rapid growth and increased deal volume.”

Launching the fund at an event on the 22nd February:

Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, Housing Secretary and Ministerial Champion for the Midlands Engine, said: “The Midlands Engine already boasts over 14 per cent of the UK’s high-growth businesses and its economy is worth more than £230 billion – larger than countries like Denmark. We want to harness its huge potential and help give small firms across the Midlands that much needed boost to grow their business.”

Patrick Magee, Chief Commercial Officer, British Business Bank, said: “The launch of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund’s equity finance will help to grow the region’s access to funds to support its economic potential and collective talent. I encourage Midlands businesses looking to take the next step in their growth journey to connect with our three Fund Managers to see how equity finance could benefit them."

Jonathan Taylor, Vice President of the European Investment Bank, said:The European Investment Bank is pleased to support the new Midlands Engine Investment Fund that follows the proven success of regional funds elsewhere in the UK and across Europe to provide new investment that addresses the specific financing needs of local firms.”

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020, the European Investment Bank and the British Business Bank.

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About Foresight Group LLP (“Foresight”):

Foresight is a leading independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager which has been managing investment funds on behalf of institutions and retail clients for more than 30 years.

Foresight has £2.8bn of Assets under Management across a number of funds, including Listed Vehicles, Limited Partnerships, Enterprise Investment Schemes (EISs), Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) and Inheritance Tax Solutions using Business Property Relief (BPR).

Foresight’s Private Equity team, comprising 22 investment professionals, invests between £100k and £5m in management buy-outs, management buy-ins and growth capital investments in UK SMEs.

Foresight was voted “Best VCT Investment Manager” at the 2017 Growth Investor Awards, having previously been awarded “VCT House of the Year” at the 2016 Unquote British Private Equity awards.

Foresight’s Nottingham office manages the Foresight Nottingham Fund (“FNF”), a £40 million dedicated regional growth fund providing investment and support to businesses in the Nottinghamshire region on behalf of the British Business Bank and Nottinghamshire Local Government Pension Fund. FNF is already invested in 17 companies.

Foresight Regional Investment Fund (“FRIF”) is dedicated to making equity investments up to £5 million in small and medium sized growth companies across the North West of England, North Wales and South Yorkshire. FRIF is invested in 7 portfolio companies.

Foresight has offices in London, Manchester, Nottingham, Guernsey, Rome, San Francisco and Sydney.


The Midlands Engine Investment Fund will invest in equity finance through appointed Fund Managers:

  • Midven Ltd will operate a Venture fund focusing on the West Midlands
  • Foresight Group LLP, will run a similar fund focused on the East & South-East Midlands
  • Mercia Fund Managers will run a Proof of Concept and Early Stage Equity fund addressing the whole of the Midlands.

The equity funds will join the £120m of Loan funds launched in August 2017. These are made up of:

Small Business Loans Funds operated in the West Midlands by BCRS Business Loans Ltd and in the East & South East Midlands by Enterprise Loans East Midlands Ltd and a larger Debt Finance fund operated across the whole of the Midlands by Maven Capital Partners UK LLP.

For more information on the funding available, please visit

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund regional event series is as follows:

Silverstone - 26th February 2018, 8am - 10am

Lincoln - 2nd March 2018, 11.30am - 1.30pm

Dudley- 6th March 2018, 8am - 10am

Telford - 7th March 2018, 8am - 10am

Malvern - 8th March 2018, 10.30am - 12.30pm

Coventry - 9th March 2018, 8am - 10am

Derby - 14th March 2018, 8am - 10am

Leicester - 16th March 2018, 8am - 10am

Stoke - 19th March 2018, 9.30am - 11.30am

Birmingham - 20th March 2018, 8am - 10am

To find out how to attend please visit our event page here:


About the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF)

  • The Midlands Engine Investment Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund, will invest in Debt Finance, Small Business Loans, Proof-of-Concept and Equity Finance funds, ranging from £25,000 to £2m, specifically to help small and medium sized businesses secure the funding they need for growth and development.
  • The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is operated by British Business Financial Services Limited, wholly owned by British Business Bank, the UK’s national economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity.
  • The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the European Investment Bank, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and British Business Finance Limited, a British Business Bank group company.
  • The MEIF covers the following LEP areas: Black Country, Coventry & Warwickshire, Greater Birmingham & Solihull, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, The Marches, and Worcestershire in the West Midlands; and Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham & Nottinghamshire (D2N2) Greater Lincolnshire, Leicester and Leicestershire, and South-East Midlands in the East and South-East Midlands.
  • The project is receiving up to £78,550,000 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit
  • The European Investment Bank is providing £122,500,000 to support the Midlands Engine Investment Fund. This follows backing for the Northern Powerhouse in 2017 and backing for the North East Fund to be announced in the coming weeks.
  • The funds in which Midlands Engine Investment Fund invests are open to businesses with material operations, or planning to open material operations, in, the West Midlands and East & South-East Midlands.
  • The British Business Bank has published the Business Finance Guide (in partnership with the ICAEW, and a further 21 business and finance organisations). The guide, which impartially sets out the range finance options available to businesses and provides links to support available at a regional level, is available at

About the British Business Bank

  • The British Business Bank is the UK’s national economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity. Our remit is to design, deliver and efficiently manage UK-wide smaller business access to finance programmes for the UK government.
  • The British Business Bank programmes are already supporting almost 3.4bn of finance to more than 59,000 smaller businesses, through over 100 finance partners. They are participating in a further £5.8bn.
  • British Business Bank plc is a limited company registered in England and Wales, registration number 08616013, registered office at Steel City House, West Street, Sheffield, S1 2GQ. As the holding company of the group operating under the trading name of British Business Bank, it is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government which is not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The British Business Bank operates under its own brand name through a number of subsidiaries, one of which is authorised and regulated by the FCA.
  • More information, including a legal structure chart for British Business Bank plc and its subsidiaries, can be found on the British Business Bank website.

For more information please contact:

Ben Thompson, Group Marketing Director, Foresight,|020 3667 8155