Tom Keighley

Member Article

Successful Regional Growth Fund bid to stage summit

The North East will host a summit for a meeting of key partners in the biggest successful Regional Growth Fund bid to date.

A £60m award was made in April 2011, to a unique team of banks and community finance lenders and will be used by Community Development Finance Institutions to provide loans to support businesses in disadvantaged communities nationwide.

CDFIs from across the country will convene at the event organised by business services firm, Entrust, and hosted by law firm, Dickinson Dees.

They will hear from Ben Hughes, recently appointed chief executive of the CDFIs’ trade association body, the Community Development Finance Association.

Ben will explain how the new fund, expected to launch on April 1 2012, will work and who will be able to access the finance.

Dan Brophy, Chief Executive of Entrust, emphasised, “Bids for funding from the Regional Growth Fund are highly competitive.

“This new loan fund comes at a critical time as businesses have been struggling to raise capital.

“With this fund we can provide additional finance to small businesses in economically vulnerable parts of England and continue our work of creating jobs and providing growth in localities and communities that need it most.”

The £60m fund is the biggest ever investment available to CDFIs, and the CDFA will receive £30m allocation from the Regional Growth Fund, matched to a further £30m from two banks.

Neil Warwick of Dickinson Dees, and independent Chair of Entrust’s CDFI, Street North East, commented, “This meeting is a critical milestone in getting us to the stage of launching on 1 April.

“It’s a really exciting opportunity for CDFIs and their customers. I am proud to be part of this successful bid which is truly ground-breaking and directly responds to a segment of the market that is often overlooked.

“We look forward to playing our full part in taking this new initiative forward in the region.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Tom Keighley .

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