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17/07/2017

3,718 Welsh jobs created or safeguarded following Finance Wales investment in 2016/17 financial year

3,718 Welsh jobs created or safeguarded following Finance Wales investment in 2016/17 financial year.

  • 3,718 jobs created or safeguarded
  • £56.5 million invested into Welsh small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) up from £45.6 million in 2015/16
  • £79.1 million leveraged from private sector funders
  • 267 investments in 245 businesses
  • Launch of JEREMIE replacement the £136 million Wales Business Fund in September 2016.
  • Six exits with a x2. 1realisation
  • 1,870 properties purchased through Help to Buy - Wales scheme

£136 million was invested into Welsh businesses by Finance Wales and private sector co-investors in the 2016/17 financial year. This helped create or safeguard more than 3,700 jobs in 245 companies.

Finance Wales has also repaid the loan from the European Investment Bank which formed part of the now fully invested JEREMIE fund.

JEREMIE’s replacement, the Wales Business Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), was launched in September. It is the largest UK fund with EU money to be launched following the Brexit vote in June 2016. Companies to benefit from Wales Business Fund support include Tomlinson’s Dairies in Wrexham, Peerless Gas in Flintshire and Siltbusters in Monmouthshire.

“We fill a gap left by mainstream lenders, offering flexible finance solutions to companies who may struggle to get the package they need from the traditional sources of finance,” explained Chairman Gareth Bullock. “Where there is decreased risk appetite in the wider investment market, we’re able to step in and take that risk burden to help support ambitious Welsh businesses. I’m proud of that, I’m proud of our flexibility and the approach our staff take to tailor deals for micro to medium companies.”

Welcoming the news Economy Secretary Ken Skates said: “These are excellent results from Finance Wales which has played a key role in supporting the growth of Welsh businesses, helping to spread prosperity by creating and safeguarding jobs and leveraging in private sector investment.

“As Finance Wales prepares to evolve into the Development Bank for Wales, it will mark the start of a new era, presenting even greater opportunities to support more micro and medium sized enterprises throughout Wales.

“The Development Bank of Wales will be tasked with providing more than £1 billion of investment support to Welsh businesses over the next five years and will ensure these businesses have greatly improved access to finance, support services and management advice.

“I am delighted to say we are close to selecting the new headquarters for the Bank in Wrexham that will have a strong presence throughout Wales providing easier access for businesses in all our regions.

Finance Wales Chief Executive, Giles Thorley added:

“Year after year Finance Wales has seen increasing demand for sustainable, effective finance for businesses in Wales. The Development Bank of Wales will build on this with greater scale and breadth unlocking more potential and enhancing a dynamic, competitive Welsh economy.”

The Wales Management Succession Fund also launched in the 2016/17 financial year. In early 2017 the fund made its first two investments – in Cardiff-based bio medical company Minerva and communications specialist Glamorgan Telecom.

It has also been a very active year for the Technology Venture Investments team. In December medical device company Creo listed on AIM at the London Stock Exchange. In August 2016 the team also exceeded the £3 million investment milestone for the £7.5 million Wales Technology Seed Fund, investing more than £2.3 million in the 2016/17 financial year alone and leveraging £1.24 million from private sector funders.

The Help to Buy Wales scheme, managed by Finance Wales on behalf of Welsh Government, also supported the purchase of more than 1,800 homes across Wales. The shared equity scheme helps Welsh families get on, and up the property ladder by providing equity loans for deposits on new homes. The scheme also supports developers here in Wales.