The Government's £500 million Future Fund opened for applications today, with innovative and high-growth British businesses able to secure investment to help them through the Coronavirus outbreak.
UK-based companies can now apply for a convertible loan of between £125,000 and £5 million, to support continued growth and innovation in sectors as diverse as technology, life sciences and the creative industries.
The government has made an initial £250 million available for investment through the scheme and will consider increasing this if needed.
Private investors – potentially including venture capital funds, angel investors and those backed by regional funds - will at least match the government investment in these companies.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said:
"Our start-ups and innovative firms are one of our great economic strengths, and they will help spur our recovery from the pandemic.
The Future Fund will support firms across the UK to get through the pandemic by stimulating investment, so that they can continue to break new ground in technology and innovation."
Match fund investors will be encouraged to sign the Treasury’s Investing in Women Code, which commits firms to improving female entrepreneurs’ access to tools, resources and finance. The Future Fund is a signatory of this.
The government will also amend the rules of the Enterprise Investment Scheme, which provides tax relief to investors in high growth firms, to protect Future Fund investors from losing relief on their previous investments made prior to any investment through the Future Fund.
The Fund will be open until September and is delivered in partnership with the British Business Bank.