Financial boost for steel businesses

New and growing businesses finding it difficult to access finance are to get additional help from UK Steel Enterprise.

The Corus subsidiary that backs businesses in steel areas with tailored finance packages and managed business premises has announced a substantial increase to its lending limits. UKSE has made more than £60m of true risk capital available to UK businesses over the past 30 years to support start-ups, expansions and management buy-outs.

Simon Hamilton, Northern Regional Manager for UK Steel Enterprise, said: "In recent years we have found that we are being approached by businesses and their advisers asking us to fund larger and more complex investment deals.

"We have now increased our lending limit up to £750,000 from £400,000 and we have the flexibility to provide funding in more than one form - often a mixture of tailored share capital and lending - depending on circumstances and the availability, or otherwise, of security."

UKSE expects the increase to help it meet the current growth in demand and that more companies will be encouraged to raise the start-up or growth funding that they need to realise their full potential.

"Securing the right type of finance delivered at the right time is crucial to a company's development, but smaller businesses often find it a challenge because of their size and risk profile. We will now be able to target larger deals and increase the number of equity deals."

UKSE has helped more than 4,300 businesses nationally mainly in engineering, manufacturing and related service industries. It is estimated that around 66,000 jobs have been created as a result of UKSE support. The two Innovation Centres at Redcar and Hartlepool currently house around 80 young businesses.

Details of UKSE's new financial packages and other support for business are available at www.uksteelenterprise.co.uk.

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