Lloyds Bank launches £500m fund to help businesses invest in high-spec machinery

Under the scheme, recipients will be able to use asset finance to access funds to buy expensive equipment - without damaging their working capital

Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking has launched a £500m growth fund to help UK businesses improve productivity by investing in high-spec machinery.

Lloyds will look to use the fund to support businesses operating in sectors where machinery, and innovations like automation, can help them both boost productivity and grow in a competitive marketplace.

Its suggested the growth fund will be of particular benefit to small businesses and mid-market businesses operating within the manufacturing, construction, agriculture and transport sectors.

Under the scheme, selected recipients will be able to use asset finance to access the necessary funds needed to buy expensive equipment – without damaging their working capital.

Asset finance works by allowing firms to buy assets such as machinery or technology and spread the cost over their lifetime.

By eliminating the need for large payments up front and instead making smaller payments over a longer period of time, the funding helps free up working capital.

For example, Llyods says animal feed manufacturer Dodson & Horrell used asset finance to invest £3.5m into automating its processes – and were able to create a single factory and distribution centre.

As a result, Llyods claims Dodson & Horrell now expect to double the size of its canine business within five years.

In its report on productivity, Understanding The Puzzle: Helping Britain Prosper through productivity growth, Llyod’s research revealed that inadequate investment was one of the key obstacles preventing businesses from improving productivity, behind skills shortages and onerous regulation.

Entrepreneurs interested in accessing the fund are advised to speak to their local Lloyds Bank relationship manager, or call 0345 602 4796.

Ben Stephenson, managing director SME at Lloyds Bank Global Transaction Banking, said:

“The pace of technological change is constantly challenging important UK sectors to invest in growth to remain competitive. But businesses need to be able to achieve this without damaging their access to working capital.

“This fund will enable more and more businesses to benefit from the flexibility of asset finance, which can be used to support firms’ needs throughout the economic cycle, whether that’s investing in growth or boosting efficiency.”

Gareth Oakley, managing director SME at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said:

“The UK’s low level of productivity compared with its G7 peers remains a challenge, and it’s crucial we work closely with businesses to ensure they have the tools they need to make efficiencies and grow. This asset finance fund shows our commitment helping businesses in Britain prosper.”