Business Growth Fund offers new opportunities to grow a competitive supply chain

26 January 2012 #SMMT News

Increased availability and access to finance will boost investment across the UK’s automotive supply chain, helping it to remain competitive – these were the findings presented by leading industry figures at a Business Growth Fund seminar, hosted yesterday by the SMMT.

Outlining the challenges facing the supply chain and finance sectors, leading industry figures, including Andrew Rumfitt, Director, Innovacion, Stephen Pegge, SME Markets Director, Lloyds TSB and Mark Byrant, Director of the recently launched Business Growth Fund, presented an overview of the UK’s financial landscape and the opportunities for growth through improved financial availability for UK businesses.

The Business Growth Fund (BGF), which was launched in May last year, is a financial consortium of five commercial banks, including HSBC and RBS, which has an investment portfolio of £2.5 billion, available to eligible UK businesses. Research undertaken by the consortium has identified between 25-32,000 UK businesses with the potential to grow through support from the fund.

“The UK’s manufacturing sector accounts for 25% of the economic recovery since the recession,” said Andrew Rumfitt, Director of Innovacion. “Its manufacturing sector employs 2.5 million people and 6% of those are within the automotive sector, but there are drawbacks, such as a shortage of a strong supply base and a lack of skilled workers in the sector, which impact its growth potential.”

Representing one fifth of the BGF consortium, Stephen Pegge, from Lloyds TSB said, “The automotive sector is leading the UK’s economic recovery – many UK-based automotive companies have diversified their business interests, but a lack of investment within the automotive supply chain has impacted on the provision of finance from across the financial sector.”

Stephen Welton, Chief Executive, BGF, went on to outline the criteria for applicants, as well as how to apply – giving attendees case study examples of how the fund has supported business growth. For further information, click here.

For details of forthcoming SMMT Seminars, click here.

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