Development Bank of Wales shows “encouraging” performance in first half of financial year

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The Development Bank of Wales saw a positive first half to the 2022/23 financial year, with £55 million invested across 280 different investments, with around 240 Welsh businesses supported.

Between April and September, the Development Bank invested:

  • £16.4 million to help existing businesses grow their operations;
  • £1.5 million across 55 smaller loans to help entrepreneurs start new businesses;
  • £8.2 million to help management teams buy businesses;
  • £23.8 million in property development investment;
  • £3 million into large-scale tourism and leisure projects;
  • £5.1 million in equity funding – including £410,000 via the Wales Angel Co-investment Fund

Regionally, the Development Bank invested £16.9m into mid and west Wales; £16.06 million into businesses in north Wales and £22.2 million in south Wales. Investments made so far in the financial year have safeguarded 1,197 jobs; with 820 jobs created.

In addition to direct investment, support from the Development Bank has also leveraged a further £31 million of co-investment into Welsh businesses from private investment, including business angels - about £13 million of which is in equity co-investment.

Property development loans make up a large part of the investment from the Development Bank, with £23.8m invested across 45 projects – along with increased interest in the support provided to the sector via the Green Homes Initiative and the Leaseholder Support Scheme. Giles Thorley, Chief Executive of the Development Bank of Wales, said: “I’m pleased with the encouraging results we’ve seen in the first six months of the current financial year.

“It’s reassuring to see we’re performing in line with our objectives and expectations, with many metrics either matching or exceeding where we were at the same point in the last financial year.

“Increased parity in the breakdown of funding between regions is good cause for confidence as we continue to ensure access to the right investment is available across the whole of Wales.

“We also continue to attract significant levels of co-investment into Welsh businesses with the support of business angels and private sector partners.

“Equity remains an important instrument to support businesses across  the business cycle and we’re seeing it increasingly used to help grow businesses, and to help management teams take over existing businesses.

“In line with our increased focus on encouraging more of Wales’ younger entrepreneurs to take their first steps into business, we’ve seen strong interest from and investments in business directors under the age of 30, at £10.5 million.

“I’m also pleased to see the level of investments made via the Wales Tourism Fund, showing how we’ve been able to work with and support a crucially important sector in the Welsh economy.”

Giles added: “All that said, we’re aware that Wales and the UK more generally face difficult economic prospects, as businesses face inflation, stretched supply chains, labour shortages and increasing energy costs.

“While business demand for our services and the type of investment we can provide remains encouraging, we know that many more businesses may seek support as conventional lenders start pulling back due to wider economic uncertainty.

“The Development Bank of Wales is here as a source of stable, patient capital to businesses throughout Wales, and we’d encourage anyone interested in the support we can provide to get in touch.”

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