The commercial arm of the British Business Bank has provided a £16.5m (€19.76m) revolving credit facility to asset finance provider Kingsway.

The Cheshire-based provider is the first beneficiary of British Business Bank’s new expansion capital initiative, designed to support finance providers lending to smaller businesses.

This credit facility is expected to increase the leasing capacity of Kingsway by up to £25m, helping to support investment in plant and machinery across the UK.

Keith Morgan, chairman of British Business Bank Investments, said: “We see asset finance as an increasingly important option for smaller businesses looking to grow and invest.”

“We are delighted to support Kingsway with this revolving credit facility through the new expansion capital initiative under our investment programme.”

Since the bank’s investment programme began in early 2013, more than £120m has been committed to six asset finance providers.

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Adrian Anthon, managing director of Kingsway, said: “I am delighted that Kingsway is the first UK asset finance company to benefit from the British Business Bank Investments new expansion capital initiative,”

“From our North West base, Kingsway has been supporting UK small businesses for almost 20 years and this new facility will enable Kingsway to significantly increase our lending to small businesses across the UK.”

Simon Goldie, head of asset finance, Finance & Leasing Association, added: “The expansion capital initiative is an important addition to the British Business Bank’s funding initiatives, and will increase Kingsway’s ability to support smaller businesses through asset finance. We look forward to seeing more FLA member firms working with the Bank to drive economic growth in the UK.”