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UK government unveils 1.25 billion pound fund for startups during Covid-19 pandemic

By Huw Hughes

Apr 21, 2020

The UK government has announced a further 1.25 billion pounds in funding to protect companies “driving innovation and development” during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The support package, announced on Monday by UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak, comprises a 500 million pound investment fund, called Future Fund, for high-growth companies, as well as 750 million pounds in grants and loans for SMEs focusing on research and development.

To be eligible for the scheme, a business must be an unlisted UK registered company and must have raised at least 250,000 pounds from third-party investors in the last five years.

Sunak said: “Britain is a global leader when it comes to innovation. Our start-ups and businesses driving research and development are one of our great economic strengths and will help power our growth out of the coronavirus crisis.

“This new, world-leading fund will mean they can access the capital they need at this difficult time, ensuring dynamic, fast-growing firms across all sectors will be able to continue to create new ideas and spread prosperity.”

Government announces much-needed support for UK startups

Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden, said: “We are the tech and creative capital of Europe, and it’s crucial to maintain our place. This funding will protect high growth businesses and enable the unicorns of tomorrow to thrive so that tech is in pole position to drive our post Covid recovery.”

This is the latest measure announced by the UK government to help businesses mitigate the long-term impact of the pandemic. Other measures include business rate holidays and coronavirus business interruption loans (CBILS).

Sunak also announced that so far 140,000 firms have applied for the government's job retention scheme after it went live at 8am on Monday. The scheme pays for 80 percent of employees' wages up to 2,500 pounds a month.

Photo credit: Pexels, Dominika Gregušová