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Future Fund launches to give start-ups coronavirus support

The government has launched its Future Fund package, which aims to support start-up businesses not eligible for other coronavirus (COVID-19) rescue measures.

The Future Fund offers government loans of between £125,000 and £5 million to UK-incorporated companies, provided private investors at least match the funding supplied by the state.

The package is aimed at innovative early stage companies not eligible for existing COVID-19 support, and overall the fund will match up to £250 million of private investment. Chancellor Rishi Sunak told MPs that he would be 'more than happy' to increase the funding available should the scheme prove popular.

The Future Fund is administered by the government-backed British Business Bank (BBB). The loans can be repaid or converted into discounted equity if they are not – making the government a direct shareholder in UK start-ups should the latter occur.

There is no requirement to value the company, and when companies and investors have completed an application through the BBB portal, they should receive funds in an estimated two weeks. The fund is currently due to run until at least the end of September.

More guidance on the Future Fund, including eligibility criteria, can be found here.