UK lessor Close Brothers Asset Finance has been conditionally awarded a further £40m (€48.4m) from the government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF).

Close AF currently has access to £15m from a previous RGF round and Mike Randall, chief executive of Close AF, said it has directly supported 250 UK SMEs and helped to safeguard 1,000 jobs as a result.

Randall said: "We were delighted to learn that we’ve been granted a further major allocation of funds in the latest round of the RGF.

"It is an excellent scheme that has already given many businesses a financial lifeline and this new award is validation of our commitment to supporting SMEs across the country."

The latest funding tranche is the fifth round from the RGF and the money will be available later in year once due diligence is completed.

The RGF is a £3.2bn fund which is aimed at helping SMEs grow their businesses by granting funds to businesses which can match the amount with private sector investment and was originally set up in 2012.

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