Objectives of Fund
A £1.25 billion government support package has been announced for innovative new companies that have been impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) and are not eligible for existing coronavirus rescue schemes.
The package includes a £500 million investment fund, called the Future Fund, for high-growth companies across the UK to receive the investment they need to continue during the crisis. It is made up of funding from government and the private sector. A £750 million package of targeted support for the most research and development (R&D) intensive small and medium-sized firms will be also available through Innovate UK’s grants and loan scheme.
The Future Fund will provide government loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors. These convertible loans may be a suitable option for businesses that rely on equity investment and are unable to access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
These loans will automatically convert into equity on the company’s next qualifying funding round, or at the end of the loan if they are not repaid.
IUK will accelerate up to £200 million of grant and loan payments for its 2,500 existing customers on an opt-in basis. An extra £550 million will be made available to increase support for existing customers and £175,000 of support will be offered to around 1,200 firms not currently in receipt of Innovate UK funding. The first payments will be made by mid-May.
Who Can Apply
To be eligible for the Future Fund, a business must be an unlisted UK registered company that has previously raised at least £250,000 in equity investment from third party investors in the last five years.
If the company is a member of a corporate group, only the ultimate parent company, if a UK registered company, is eligible to receive the loan. An eligible company shall also be subject to customer fraud, money laundering and ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) checks prior to any loan being made.
Full eligibility criteria will be published in due course.
The bridge funding shall be used solely for working capital purposes and shall not be used by the company to repay any borrowings, make any dividends or bonus payments to staff, management, shareholders or consultants or, in respect of the Government loan, pay any advisory or placement fees or bonuses to external advisers.
How To Apply
This scheme is not available yet. It will launch in May 2020.
The scheme will initially be open until the end of September 2020.
Further details on eligibility criteria, fund operation and the application procedure will be published in due course.
Useful documents & links
Scheme - Guidance Document
Addresses and contacts
For further information on how to obtain this grant locally, please contact the following:
Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS)