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Back to News Ralph Singleton and Ken Cooper

28th June 2023

Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund celebrates £100m total investment into the region

The Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund (CIOSIF) has reached a major milestone having invested over £21m to support the growth of more than 55 businesses, creating or safeguarding almost 1,000 jobs and attracting a further £80m of private investment.

Since its launch by the British Business Bank and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in 2018, the fund has been providing market-gap loans and equity investment to SMEs (small to medium enterprises) with high-growth potential via appointed fund manager, The FSE Group.

A recent CIOSIF evaluation showed businesses supported by the fund have strengthened their skills base, improved efficiency, become more innovative and reduced their environmental impact.

Two-thirds believed these positive outcomes had either been accelerated as a result of CIOSIF funding or would not have happened without it. And 90% of businesses surveyed reported increased resilience as a result of the funding they received.

Ken Cooper, Managing Director from the British Business Bank, said: “The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund has been a catalyst for over £100m of total investment in local businesses since its launch, driving growth, skills and innovation while boosting business resilience. We are building on that success with the launch of our £200m South West Investment Fund next month to increase the supply and diversity of early-stage finance across the region.”

John Acornley, Chair of the CIOSIF Advisory Board and until recently a LEP non-executive director, said: “When we developed the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund with the British Business Bank the aim was to break down barriers in access to finance for SMEs in the region. Five years later we have seen how successful it has been in unlocking the potential of growth businesses and demonstrating the transformative impact of external finance.”

Ralph Singleton, Cornwall Head of Fund at The FSE Group, added: “It has been a real pleasure to support the rich and diverse range of growing businesses across the whole of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly region. At FSE we pride ourselves on our ‘more than money’ approach and it’s great to see from the evaluation how much this is valued, with both customers and stakeholders commenting positively on the team’s expertise and the wider support provided. We are particularly proud of the wide range of industries supported.”

CIOSIF will continue to provide debt and equity funding between £25,000 and £2million until the end of 2023.

In July the British Business Bank will launch the £200m South West Investment Fund (SWIF). It will offer a range of commercial finance options with loans from £25,000 to £2 million and equity investment up to £5 million across the South West region. SWIF is the first in a series of six new Nations and Regions Investment Funds being launched by the Bank.

Recipients of CIOSIF funding include:

Patented marine buoyancy bag technology facilitating the building of floating offshore wind turbine substructures. A CIOSIF equity investment, matched by Sarens, is being used for a range of growth activities, including establishing a manufacturing facility in Cornwall, hiring new staff and undertaking sales and marketing activity.

Shane Carr, Tugdock Founder and CEO, said: “FSE remained in contact as we progressed our leading-edge technology, ready to invest when the time was right. We are grateful for their continued support and, with this funding from CIOSIF and Sarens, look forward to scaling the business and making the most of this exciting global opportunity.”

Refined Brands
A family of ethically sourced British fashion brands with a focus on natural materials and sustainability. Its digitally native portfolio of companies includes Cornwall-based Celtic & Co and Frugi, as well as Kettlewell Colours and Turtle Doves.  A £1.5 million CIOSIF equity investment was secured as part of a £6.75 million funding round to further accelerate growth.

Ben Barnett, Chairman of Refined Brands, said: “We are delighted to welcome CIOSIF as an investor into our expanding group. We value the FSE team’s experience in supporting businesses throughout the region and believe their input will help us achieve our ambitious goals for organic growth both in the UK and internationally.”

Pentire Drinks
Plant-based, non-alcoholic spirits made by distilling plants native to the local Cornish coastline that can be found in Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason and Fenwick. A certified B-Corp that donates proceeds to the Blue Marine Foundation. A £500,000 CIOSIF equity investment was secured as part of a £3m funding round to grow the team and expand multiple areas of the business.

Alistair Frost, Pentire Drinks CEO & Co-Founder, said: “Our drinks encompass what it means to be Cornish and we work hard to make sure they inspire our customers without damaging our local environment. We’re well on the way to becoming an easily-recognisable brand and the CIOSIF funding is enabling us to continue this rate of growth, putting Pentire firmly in the drinks cabinets of people across the globe.”

For more information about the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund including how to apply, please visit or follow the fund on Twitter at @CIOSIFBBB2.


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