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FinanceNorth West start-ups secure £16.6 million boost

North West start-ups secure £16.6 million boost

North West companies received £16.6m of Start Up Loan funding from the British Business Bank last year.

The local authority areas within the North West whose businesses received the highest value of loans included Manchester, Cheshire East, Liverpool and Wirral.

New data from the bank reveals that in the 2023/24 financial year, it provided 1,269 businesses in the North West with funding.

Within the North West region, Greater Manchester has been dubbed the most entrepreneurial place outside of London, after the Bank announced it provided almost £7m worth of Start Up Loan funding to businesses across Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan.

Funding to entrepreneurs in the Manchester local authority area was distributed to 143 businesses, with an average loan of £13,565.

Cheshire East followed closely behind, with more than £1.3m being provided to 91 businesses – an average loan of £14,658 per business.

North West businesses receiving a Start Up Loan this year, included sustainable subscription services platform, Wuva, ecological consultants Evelyn Ecology, and award-winning dessert business Layers Treats.

Matthew Ridd, co-founder of Wuva, said: “Through the Start Up Loan programme and with support from Virgin StartUp, we’ve not only gained financial freedom to invest properly in the growth of Wuva, but it has also connected us with invaluable business resources and networks.

“This support has been transformative. It has propelled us towards our vision of redefining consumption for the next generation where you can rent the functionality of an item. Going forward, consumerism must be sustainable, and Wuva is the first step in achieving that, offering consumers the option to swap and cancel items when they don’t need them.”

Delyth Edwards, senior network manager for the North West at the British Business Bank, said: “I am incredibly proud of the impact the Start Up Loans programme is having on businesses in the North West.

“The 2023-24 financial year was Start Up Loans’ best ever in terms of the amount of financing provided to business owners based in the North West, and we want to continue to support businesses in the region. More than that, we want to help founders overcome barriers that may emerge when accessing finance and to help underrepresented groups who may otherwise struggle to start a business.”

The Start Up Loans programme offers loans of up to £25,000 at a fixed interest rate of 6% per annum, to be repaid over one to five years. It also offers 12 months of free business mentoring and support to successful applicants.

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