Mary Whenman
Communications & Marketing Director
British Business Bank



To establish a presence for the £400m Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) and build awareness of this new source of finance within small business and introducer communities in the North of England.


Position the Fund as an opportunity to transform the Northern economy, ending the historic North/South funding divide, and be a powerful catalyst for a narrative of regional success.

As an official partner helping drive forward the Northern Powerhouse initiative, our strategy realises the Northern Powerhouse concept for the smaller business community. It forges close relationships between the UK’s national development bank, strategic local economic development partners, and the Northern business communities, to unlock the strength, energy, and sheer potential of the North.


  • Launch of the Fund through a multi-channel campaign, bringing together key stakeholders from the public and private sectors, including business leaders, local government, and appointed fund managers, for 11 launch events across the North
  • Deliver a robust media relations programme to create exceptional awareness of the Fund at its infancy and spark the first wave of investment enquiries, as well as set a precedent in the national and regional press for pan-Northern economic collaboration
  • Position NPIF as key to the success of the wider Northern Powerhouse initiative and champion its successes
  • Establish and build relationships between NPIF and its key stakeholders, including the ten Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in the North West, Yorkshire, the Humber and Tees Valley


  • Launch of the Fund brought together over 2,000 key stakeholders from the public and private sectors at 11 regional briefing events in February/March 2017
  • Announced over 260 deals, achieving significant media presence across regional, national, and trade titles, as well as key milestones for the Fund, including its 100th investment and £50m invested milestone
  • Introductions to journalists at the Financial Times, Sunday Times, BBC News and Yorkshire Post
  • High level introductions to influencers such as Andy Burnham (Manchester Mayor) and Jake Berry (Northern Powerhouse Minister)
  • 435 pieces of quality press coverage in 2018 to date and 480 pieces of coverage in 2017
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