£171m development bank boost for Welsh small businesses

A development bank for Wales has been given the official go-ahead to help small and micro businesses get off the ground or to grow.

Developed from Finance Wales, it will have a target of providing £80m a year within five years and creating 5,500 jobs annually.

EU and Welsh Government funding will kick-start the bank, aimed at micro, small start-ups and innovative firms.

The Wrexham-based bank’s running costs will be self-sustaining from next year.

The Development Bank of Wales will work closely with Business Wales, the Welsh Government’s business support service.

Economy Secretary Ken Skates said: “The development bank will be the first of its kind in the UK, addressing current market failures within business finance and providing focused support for micro, small start-ups and innovative businesses across Wales enabling them to become fitter, bigger and stronger.”

A further £35m of European funding will be added to the £136m Wales Business Fund that was announced last year.

More money is expected to support the bank’s work later this year.