A new £500m fund launched by Barclays to support SMEs in the Northern Powerhouse has been hailed by business leaders, with economist Lord Jim O’Neill saying it would help companies to “embrace the next Industrial Revolution”.
Under the £500m Northern Powerhouse Growth Fund, Barclays will be able to offer a range of business lending services to support day-to-day cash flow, expansion and investment for growth.
Announcing the new fund, Barclays Group chief executive Jes Staley said: “As the UK prepares for Brexit, it’s vitally important that businesses, civic leaders and government work together to make the Northern Powerhouse a reality. That means supporting entrepreneurs and businesses to succeed, but it also means providing more ways into high quality work.”
Lord Jim O’Neill, economist and Northern Powerhouse Partnership vice-chair, said: “I have consistently said that for the Northern Powerhouse to be a success and deliver a more balanced economy for the whole of the UK requires the support and vision of the North’s leading businesses.