Boost for SMEs as Close Brothers offered £15 million under Regional Growth Fund

The Close Brothers Asset Purchase Programme will allow businesses to invest in their future by applying for help with financing the deposit for purchases of business critical assets, such as machinery or equipment.

Stephen Hodges, managing director and banking chief executive of Close Brothers, said: “We are delighted to have been selected to participate in the Regional Growth Fund programme.

“This is a real endorsement for Close Brothers and our commitment to providing financing for SMEs throughout the economic cycle. These funds will allow us to support companies across the regions and help them fulfil their potential, creating jobs and contributing to the UK economy.

“Close Brothers have been a significant funder of SMEs for many years, doubling our lending in the last four years to what is arguably the engine room of the UK economy.

“The monies from the RGF will provide a welcome boost to existing and new customers. Businesses that struggle to find a deposit for a new piece of machinery or other equipment can apply to us for that finance under our asset purchase programme.”

Close Brothers has been selected by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills after a rigorous bidding process that involved several hundred financial institutions.

The Regional Growth Fund (RGF) is a £2.4bn fund that businesses across England can apply to for grants and loans from 2011 to 2015.

It supports projects and programmes that leverage private sector investment, creating economic growth and sustainable employment. It aims particularly to help those areas and communities currently dependent on the public sector to make the transition to sustainable private sector led growth and prosperity.

“We are delighted to be part of this initiative, which empowers companies to grow and succeed,” said Mike Randall, chief executive of Close Brothers Asset Finance Ltd.

Companies will be able to apply to the programme from early in the new year.