London start-up firms received 28 times more Government funding than West Midlands companies during the pandemic

NEW figures have revealed that London received 28 times more funding from the Government than the West Midlands did to support start-up businesses during the Covid crisis.

Start-up businesses in the West Midlands received £20.6million while those in London received in total £590m in funding – more than 28 times the amount.

This funding discrepancy is made even starker when compared to the smaller difference in population, with the West Midlands having a population of around 5.9m compared to around 8.9m in London.

The average award for a business in the West Midlands was also around £400,000 less than the average award for a business in London or the South East.

The ‘Future Fund’ aims to support pre-revenue, pre-profit innovative businesses affected by the Covid crisis that are normally reliant on equity investment, but the figures say Labour reveal startling regional inequality both in the number of businesses supported and the average size of loan.

However with two thirds of applications for the Future Fund coming from London and the South East, the figures also shine a light on economic inequalities – and the failure of government to help create the right conditions for innovation outside of the South during more than a decade in power.

“While the Government talks about backing the North and Midlands, the reality is starkly different. Their interventions are making regional inequality worse not better,” said Shadow Business Secretary Ed Miliband.