Funding take-up is ‘disappointing’

Bosses are missing out on financial support due to lack of awareness of two Government schemes, it is claimed.

Jonathan Oxley, chairman of the Institute of Directors in Yorkshire and the Humber, said Yorkshire was lagging behind in take up of the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme, which provide more than £1.5bn of funding for small and medium-sized businesses a year.

Mr Oxley, a corporate lawyer at Lupton Fawcett Denison Till, has advised on funding for firms in London, Edinburgh and Oxford.

He added: “While it is good news that investors in other parts of the UK are using legal expertise from this region, it is frustrating that more companies in Yorkshire are not utilising the scheme as an investment vehicle or applying for the funds to help grow their businesses,” he said.

“In the past I have acted for regional investment funds which have invested in successful spin-outs from Leeds, York and Sheffield Universities. I am in no doubt there will be lots of companies in Yorkshire that could benefit from the investment if they knew about these two Government initiatives.

“We want to ensure as many people as possible take part in these exciting opportunities by raising awareness.”

The EIS was introduced in 1994 to help smaller, higher risk trading companies raise finance by offering tax relief to investors.

The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme was introduced in 2012 with the aim of directing investment into very early stage companies.