On 20 May, the Government launched the future fund. The fund is an investment scheme for high-growth companies impacted by the pandemic. It provides between £125,000 and £5 million in Government funding through convertible loans, with third-party investors at least matching the Government funding on each loan. As of 5 July, £379 million-worth of convertible loans had been approved through the future fund, and the Government have also made £750 million of support available for innovative firms through Innovate UK grants and loans.
Unemployment in Wolverhampton North East was three times the national average as we came into the pandemic, and many businesses have expressed their gratitude for the wide range of support. As we emerge from the pandemic, can my hon. Friend reassure me that this will be the party that champions innovators, start-ups and SMEs, so that we can get job opportunities and more prosperity in seats such as Wolverhampton North East?
My hon. Friend makes a very good point and case for her constituency. As the Prime Minister set out last week, we will double down on levelling up and give everyone growing up in this country the opportunity that they need. The Prime Minister announced the acceleration of £96 million of investment from the towns fund, including nearly £13 million on kick-start activity in the west midlands.