BizBritain has partnered with Lender ThinCats to launch a £50m fund to support growing SMEs in the West Midlands. Leicestershire-headquartered ThinCats, which also has an office in Birmingham, said the move was in response to a "growing funding gap in the Midlands" which it said has been estimated to be in excess of £360m.
ThinCats has so far lent more than £340m to Britain’s SMEs, including £70m in the Midlands.
Funding is now available for Midlands based SMEs looking for £100,000 to £10m, with applications for finance between £100,000 and £500,000 facilitated by BizBritain.
Damon Walford, chief development officer at ThinCats, said: "Earlier this year, the British Business Bank revealed that SMEs in London received more funding than any other region in the UK combined.
"The government has tried to tackle this regional funding gap with initiatives such as the Midlands Engine Investment Fund and whilst this is a start, at present, the funds are not being deployed quickly enough.
"One of the key challenges lies in the fact that businesses still predominantly turn to their main bank for finance and are less aware of the alternative options.
"As a Midlands-based business, we feel a deep affinity to the area and a responsibility to help close the funding gap here."
Gary Lennon, business development director at BizBritain, added: "This is an exciting time for local SMEs, with the West Midlands being the fastest growing regional economy outside of London and growing businesses require support and finance to achieve their ambitions.
"Working alongside Thin Cats, as local people who live and work here, we are keen to aid SMEs to obtain funding that accelerates their future growth and continue to add to the region’s prosperity."