‘Positive Welsh market despite longer term Brexit uncertainty’ – Giles Thorley
Finance Wales has helped create or safeguard more than 2,000
Welsh jobs since the start of April 2016. More than £26.7 million
has been directly invested into Welsh small and medium-sized
enterprises (SMEs) with an additional £23.1 million leveraged from
private sources since new Chief Executive Giles Thorley took over
“We’re finding that the business market in Wales is still
positive despite the longer term uncertainty caused by the Brexit
vote,” explained Chief Executive Giles Thorley. “There is a great
entrepreneurial spirit here. Since joining the Finance Wales team
in April I have been impressed by the tenacity and ambition of
business owners and companies in Wales. Since then we’ve supported
26 start-up companies as well as continuing to invest in a number
of early stage and established businesses.”
£990 million managed by Finance Wales
Finance Wales, one of the UK’s largest regional funders of
development finance, now manages close to £1 billion across all SME
investment funds and Help to Buy – Wales. In the last 12 months
Finance Wales launched the European Regional Development Fund and
Welsh Government-backed £136 million Wales Business Fund and a new
£25 million Wales Management Succession Fund, as well as having a
number of other funds increased.
“We’ve supported more than 100 Welsh companies with succession
and we’re seeing more come through the door since the launch of the
Wales Management Succession Fund in April,” explained Thorley.
“There are a lot of ambitious management teams eager to keep
successful Welsh businesses alive and kicking. We’re also finding
business owners, looking to move on, working with existing talent
in their teams. Family businesses, especially in the tourism
sector, are realising their options through our succession
Businesses in Wales can apply to Finance Wales for debt, equity
and mezzanine finance. Funding starts from £1,000 and goes up to £3
million per investment round. Up to £5 million can be invested in
any one SME over multiple funds and rounds.
“In the past six months we’ve been able to help a number of
ambitious Welsh businesses through investments, creating or
safeguarding thousands of jobs,” said Finance Wales Chairman Gareth
Bullock. “Finance Wales has also achieved close to a 1:1 ratio of
private sector leverage since April. Our investment teams have
worked closely with banks and other funders to deliver for SMEs in
Wales. We’re looking forward to building on our existing
co-investment relationships as well as creating new ones over the
next six months.”
Since it was founded in 2001 Finance Wales has helped create or
safeguard 43,697 jobs having invested £409 million across more than
Help to Buy – Wales extended
This year Help to Buy – Wales was extended to 2021, with the
fund increased by £284 million to a total of £454 million. The
scheme, which is managed by Finance Wales on behalf of Welsh
Government, offers equity loans to people in Wales looking to buy a
new home. Since April 973 new builds have been bought. Help to Buy
- Wales has helped with the purchase of 4,062 properties since it
began in January 2014.
“We’re pleased to have helped people buy more than 900 homes
through Help to Buy – Wales,” explained Thorley. “This scheme helps
Welsh people on to the property ladder, as well as providing a
boost to the residential development sector.”
Thorley added: “The UK and international market has at times
been volatile and unstable following the Brexit vote in June
however we at Finance Wales have continued to be able to support
Welsh businesses. There is, and continues to be an appetite for
investment and business growth in Wales.”
Key statistics for 1 April 2016 to 30 September
- Finance Wales can invest from £1,000 up to £3 million in a
single funding round.
- Finance Wales newest fund, the £136 million Wales Business Fund
was launched in September and will run for seven years.
- Finance Wales manages over half a billion pounds across all
- Finance Wales also manages the £454 million Help to Buy – Wales
- 2,184 jobs created or safeguarded in Wales.
- £26.7m invested in Welsh SMEs (fewer than 250 employees).
- £23.1m additional investment from banks and other
- £49.8m growth capital injected into the Welsh economy.
- Finance Wales made 130 investments, supporting 122