HYNDBURN MP Sara Britcliffe is urging East Lancashire businesses to apply for loans from a new government growth and innovation fund.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has made an initial £250million available for the scheme.

The Future Fund allows firms to apply for a convertible loan of between £125,000 and £5m to support continued growth and innovation in sectors including technology, life sciences and the creative industries.

Private investors – including venture capital funds, angel investors and those backed by regional development funds - will at least match the government investment in these companies.

Conservative backbencher Miss Britcliffe said: “The Future Fund is great news for high growth and innovative businesses, including in Hyndburn and Haslingden, helping them build the bridge from today’s severe challenges to the period of recovery and enabling them to survive then thrive.”

Mr Sunak, said: “Our start-ups and innovative firms are one of our great economic strengths, and they will help spur our recovery from the pandemic.

“The Future Fund will support firms across the UK to get through the pandemic by stimulating investment, so that they can continue to break new ground in technology and innovation.”

It will be open until September and is delivered in partnership with the British Business Bank.