Creating the conditions for northern dealmaking

The £660m Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund II (NPIF II) was launched in March 2024 to increase access to finance and help drive growth for smaller businesses across the North of England.

MC2 was appointed by the government-owned British Business Bank to handle corporate communications for NPIF II and increase awareness with entrepreneurs and introducers across the North West, Yorkshire and Humber and the North East.

Our work with the Bank has been long-standing, and was built on the success of launching its maiden £500m Fund in 2017. To date, NPIF has supported over 1,200 businesses by providing a mix of debt and equity capital up to £2m. It has deployed £1.1bn of public and private sector co-investment, whilst also creating 8,500 jobs in the process.

As the appointed agency, we were tasked with taking the awareness of the Fund to the next level and boosting engagement with the northern business community. Our role was to communicate the opportunity available for entrepreneurs, and create the conditions to enable deal flow across the North.

Initially we convened major stakeholders at an event in Leeds which involved MP Kevin Hollinrake, local authority figures, entrepreneurs, fund managers and the wider northern business community.

This was followed by a series of spin off events for introducers in locations such as Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, Newcastle, and Hull.

As part of our external communications programme, we delivered national and regional press notices, along with media briefings to talk about the purpose of the Fund and the opportunity available to businesses. This resulted in over 400 pieces of press coverage, including The Times and 91 pieces of broadcast hits which was spearheaded by coverage on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, and 5 Live’s Wake up to Money.

Our role now is to work in collaboration with the fund managers responsible for deploying the capital, and to support the Bank's UK Network team as they engage with the local business communities on the ground. This has involved building a communications programme around thematic pillars (driving sustainable growth, backing innovation, and building the modern green economy) that enable us to create the conditions for NPIF II to unlock the potential of northern businesses.

Services used:

Marketing strategy
Media relations
Content marketing

Our work

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