LLoyds launches £100M SME fund to boost Hinkley point supply chain

SMEs could be eligible for a slice of a £100m fund offered by Lloyds Bank to help access supply chain opportunities for Hinkley Point.

Companies nationwide will be eligible to apply for discounted lending to enable them to access tenders.

It is estimated that construction of the multibillion-pound nuclear power station will put £200m per year into the regional economy at its peak and provide over 25,000 job opportunities.

Small business customers can apply to the fund which will waive arrangement fees on lending directly linked to the construction of Hinkley Point C and give them the financial backing to bid for new business and supply chain contracts.

This includes arrangement fees for loans, invoice finance and asset finance facilities. The fund can also be used by businesses that provide indirect services to the power plant through an agreed contract such as hotels, transport, catering, facilities management and security services.

Lloyds will also be helping businesses navigate the tendering and supply chain process and direct businesses to the Hinkley Supply Chain Team which consists of EDF Energy and the Somerset Chamber of Commerce.

David Beaumont, South West regional director for SME Banking, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking said: “Hinkley Point is a huge investment for the South West and the UK and we want to help small and medium-sized businesses take advantage of the opportunities that exist in the supply chain.

“Whether it’s construction, catering or transport services, our £100m fund and support will ensure that businesses have the financial backing they need to capitalise on this multi-billion pound construction project.”

Greg Saunders, chair of Somerset Chamber of Commerce, added: “This is excellent news and a real fillip for the region.

“Many local businesses have already secured contracts at Hinkley Point C and this investment from Lloyds will only go to give other businesses further confidence in their strategic decision making regarding seeking business from this vast project.”