This report presents s the interim evaluation of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) which took place between April 2021 and November 2021. The emphasis in this phase is on net outcomes and impacts, and an overall assessment of performance and value for money. This evaluation report builds on the early assessment of NPIF, which was completed between November 2018 and March 2019.
The study was led by SQW, with Belmana leading counterfactual impact analysis. NPIF has raised SMEs’ awareness, confidence and ability to secure private finance in future, and has already provided a bridge to follow-on finance for many SMEs as a result. These outcomes are leading to quantitative impacts on employment (including high value jobs), turnover, productivity and profitability (and for equity recipients, company valuations) across the majority of firms supported, although impacts on exports are weaker. Using linked firm-level data, the programme is delivering impacts above and beyond what would have been observed in the absence of NPIF. Robust econometric analysis using a matched control group demonstrates impacts from NPIF funding on employment and turnover. Using these econometric estimates alongside other inputs suggests that, by the end of 2021/22, the net additional GVA generated by NPIF is estimated at £77 million, with a Benefit Cost Ratio of 4.2.