Businesses tap into £778,000 from government-backed loans fund

The north's hospitality sector benefited most from the Start-Up Loans scheme last year, according to new figures
Gary McDonald Business Editor

COMPANIES in Northern Ireland have tapped up a UK-wide business loan fund for more than three quarters of a million pound, most of it in the hospitality sector.

Last year the government Start Up Loans scheme, which has been running since 2012 and espouses responsible lending, handed out £62.8 million across 20 sectors, of which around £20m went to London and the South East while just £778,690 went solely to Northern Ireland.

Of this, £101,500 was invested into restaurants and £34,500 towards clothes shops, while there was a £20,400 investment into hair & beauty.

Northern Ireland was one of three UK regions which received the least funding for the construction sector (£5,500), while not a single penny was borrowed to invest into the health & social work sector.

Cameron Bisset, digital content manager for Start Up Loans said: “We back thousands of start up businesses each year and want to share some of the transformations with the public via a new interactive guide at

"It showcases where money is lent and provides a breakdown of the work we do in enhancing business communities nationwide.

"We have supported more than 40,000 businesses with around £250 million in funding, and the guide illustrates the work we do in making businesses a success in key industries.”

This is where the money was loaned:

London £11,977,161

South East £7,963,315

West Midlands £7,963,315

North West £6,460,348

South West £5,276,558

Yorkshire/Humber £5,109,671

Scotland £4,786,646

East of England £4,186,056

North East £4,072,444

Wales £3,672,190

East Midlands £3,270,311

Northern Ireland £778,690

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