River Capital launches £8m fund for SMEs

SME fund manager River Capital launches new £8m loan fund to support North West first with a particular focus on Liverpool city region. Tony McDonough reports

River Capital
Jim Moore, River Capital investment manager, left, with MSIF chair John O’Brien


River Capital is launching a new £8m loan fund to support SMEs in the North West and, in particular, Liverpool city region.

Called the Business Growth Loan Fund (BGLF) it will provide loans to SMEs of up to £300,000. Liverpool-based River Capital says this is the first of several “impending announcements”.

A subsidiary of Merseyside Special Investment Fund (MSIF), River Capital was formerly called Alliance Fund Managers. Since 2002 has supported more than 2,000 Liverpool city region businesses with loan and equity investments totalling £163m.

In September it left the offices it shared with MSIF in Exchange Court close to Liverpool Town Hall. Now it has set up a separate base in The Plaza at nearby St Paul’s Square.

MSIF is funding the BGLF as part of its ongoing commitment to support SMEs in the North West. It will provide an alternative form of loan finance complementary to more traditional sources such as banks. Finance will cover working capital, capital expenditure, acquisitions and management buyouts.  

From early stage to more established SMEs, companies at all points of development and from most sectors can apply for funding. Applications from those who demonstrate evidence of strong social values and positive ESG impact are particularly welcomed. The fund also targets the creation of more than 320 jobs over its life.

Local businesses are already beginning to benefit from the new fund. The first loan has been drawn and several further deals are imminent from a strong pipeline of opportunities.

Investment manager and BGLF lead, Jim Moore, said: “Launching the new direct lending fund reconfirms River Capital’s commitment to investing in SMEs in the North West. It provides businesses with opportunities when funding from other avenues is challenging to obtain.  

“The effects of the last two years have made business lending more complex than ever. We are pleased to be able to assist qualifying companies in growing, creating, and safeguarding jobs and helping communities in the North West region prosper.”

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