February 07, 2011
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A £100m loan fund to boost growth in the franchise industry was unveiled today by NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland.

The money will be able to support up to 1,800 new and growing franchise businesses and 24,000 jobs nationwide, based on typical start-up costs.

The fund offers reduced fees of one per cent and 12-month capital repayment holidays. New franchises will benefit from two years’ free banking.

Tom Kelly, managing director of NatWest commercial banking in the north west, said: “Everybody wants to see banks funding business growth, as well as helping new businesses get off the ground to create jobs. This is exactly what this fund will deliver.”

A 2010 survey by NatWest and the British Franchise Association showed the industry’s combined turnover in the north west was £1.3bn. Nationally, there are around 35,000 franchisees employing more than 450,000 people with turnover of £11.8bn.

The survey also found the number of female franchisees had grown by 86pc in the last seven years.