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British Business Bank Investments Ltd provides £6.6m of funding to Shire Leasing to boost asset finance for smaller businesses

Press release 21 April 2017

British Business Bank Investments Ltd, the British Business Bank’s commercial arm, today announces that it is providing £6.6m of new mezzanine funding to Tamworth-based Shire Leasing.

The new facility is being provided under the commercial arm’s Investment Programme, which addresses long-standing gaps in the finance market for smaller business and promotes greater choice in their supply of lending. The facility follows on from a £40m block discounting facility provided to Shire in late 2014 under the same programme, and will help Shire to bolster and optimise its funding position.

Alongside, British Business Bank plc is giving Shire access to a £37.4m ‘warehouse’ line under its ENABLE Funding programme, allowing Shire to grow and diversify its funding base.

Shire provides lease financing that allows smaller businesses to acquire a wide range of key assets including telephone equipment, IT hardware and software, catering equipment, and it even helps farmers fund the purchase of livestock and small wind turbines.

The mezzanine finance we are providing to Shire will strengthen its balance sheet, allowing it to substantially increase its provision of asset finance to smaller businesses.

Asset finance is an increasingly important way for smaller businesses to support their growth ambitions, with the Finance and Leasing Association reporting over £30 billion provided in 2016. We are committed to helping companies across the UK fund their expansion through investing in key business assets.

Catherine Lewis La Torre CEO, British Business Bank Investments Ltd

When we embarked on our initial match funding relationship with the British Business Bank’s commercial arm in 2014 it was always our intent to access the capital markets. The commercial journey we have made with the British Business Bank Investments Ltd – and the support we have received from British Business Bank plc’s ENABLE team – has helped us realise this strategy.

This predicted evolution has been an entirely natural one and we are very proud to have trailblazed the path from match funding to ENABLE Funding – being the first finance provider to have made such a journey with the British Business Bank group. Over the last three years we have all learnt a great deal and I am pleased to say that both our team and theirs have come to trust and respect each other. Trust and respect are vital components for building the solid foundations that will lead to a prosperous future together as we continue to support and develop UK SMEs.

Mark Picken Managing Director, Shire Leasing

Further details of the British Business Bank plc ‘warehouse’ line to Shire under its ENABLE Funding programme can be found on the British Business Bank website.

Further Information

Notes to editors

About Shire

Shire Leasing plc (Shire) was founded by two cousins, John Worton and Martin Smith, in 1990 and is the UK’s largest privately owned independent funding house, specialising in small ticket leasing of business critical equipment. Based in Tamworth Staffordshire, Shire has won awards for its diverse workforce of 130+ employees, its innovative products and as Independent Lessor of the year by Leasing World in 2016.

Shire provides the full range of lease-based services tailored to fund the majority of business assets, allowing UK SMEs to take control of their cash flow by acquiring assets through small, regular payments, on a fixed interest basis. Priding itself on customer centricity, Shire recognises the unique nature of every business model when matching financial solutions to a business. Its primary objective is to facilitate cost-effective business growth and development for SMEs across the UK.

Building long-lasting relationships is a key value for Shire, and this is manifest in numerous long term relationships with investors, vendor partners and hirers alike. This multifaceted approach, which includes working alongside equipment vendors who in turn offer finance options to their customers, has been a winning formula and has resulted in over 66,000 UK SMEs being financially supported by Shire.

More information on how Shire delivers flexible funding solutions for British businesses can be found on the Shire Leasing website.

About British Business Bank Investments Ltd

British Business Bank Investments Ltd is the commercial arm of the British Business Bank. It aims to earn a commercial return by investing – through finance providers – in smaller businesses and small mid-caps, pursuing investments on a fully commercial basis without receiving any advantage from the government. Find out more at

British Business Bank Investments Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of British Business Bank plc, the UK government’s economic development bank, registered in England and Wales, registration number 09091930, registered office at Foundry House, 3 Millsands, Sheffield, S3 8NH. Neither entity is authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

About the British Business Bank

The British Business Bank is the UK’s national economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity. Our remit is to design, deliver and efficiently manage UK-wide smaller business access to finance programmes for the UK government.

British Business Bank programmes support more than £3.4bn of finance to more than 54,000 smaller businesses and participate in a further £5.1bn finance to small mid-cap businesses (as at end January 2017).

As well as increasing both supply and diversity of finance for UK smaller businesses through its programmes, the Bank works to raise awareness of the finance options, including asset finance, available to smaller businesses. It has published the Business Finance Guide (in partnership with the ICAEW, and a further 21 business and finance organisations). This guide impartially sets out the range finance options available to businesses – from start-ups to SMEs and growing mid-sized companies. 

British Business Bank plc is a limited company registered in England and Wales, registration number 08616013, registered office at Foundry House, 3 Millsands, Sheffield, S3 8NH.

As the holding company of the group operating under the trading name of British Business Bank, it is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government which is not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The British Business Bank operates under its own brand name through a number of subsidiaries, one of which is authorised and regulated by the FCA.

More information, including a legal structure chart for British Business Bank plc and its subsidiaries, can be found on the British Business Bank website.