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What impact could the General Election have on access to business finance?

Kirsty McGregor Jun 04, 2024

The upcoming General Election will be contested on many fronts, not least the debates around the economy and the business policies proposed by each party. 

But how will the funding market in particular look post-Election Day?

The landscape under the current Conservative Government is:

  • British Business Bank’s remit includes administering the delivery of the Recovery Loan Scheme/Growth Guarantee Scheme, Regional Angels Programme, Angel CoFund and Nations & Regions Investment Funds. 
  • Innovate UK has funding to deliver Fast Start and Smart Grants, the Edge scale-up programme and Innovate UK Loans.
  • Wider Government, Department of Business & Trade (DBT), Treasury responsible for policies such as devolved growth deals/city deals/enterprise zones and other fiscal policies to encourage investment such as Freeports, Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS) and Small Enterprise Investment Schemes (SEIS), Research & Development (R&D) Tax Credits and Patent Box 

How will these be affected if a new government were to come to power or if a minor party influences policy as part of a hung Parliament or Coalition?  

Louis Taylor, the chief executive of British Business Bank recently commented that there “is some scope” for a new government to change the purpose of the bank and use it as a vehicle to fill an equity funding gap in the UK.

Innovate UK has been provided with a budget until 2025, which is the end of the latest Spending Review.

Party policies post General Election

The published policies around ‘Access to Finance’ for each of the major UK parties are:

Conservatives aim to create a supportive environment for business innovation and growth across the UK. For example, Innovate UK and the British Business Bank have recently agreed to enhance their collaboration and combine their expertise. This will focus on providing coordinated support to businesses, from startups to scale-ups and beyond, through more tailored financial offerings and co-created events​.

Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, Rachel Reeves said a Labour Government should identify the industries that are vital to its national interests, and which need public backing. It would unlock the supply of patient capital for technology-intensive, early stage businesses ensuring that institutional investors and VCs are best placed to invest alongside the British Business Bank.

How could the funding landscape change?

More specifically, there is little documented yet about how the parties will manage the supported loan and equity schemes currently overseen by the British Business Bank, the funding of Innovate UK and the interaction with UK Finance. However, given their general policies, we could assume that the parties are likely to have these approaches:



We are likely to see continued support of the Growth Guarantee Scheme, at least for the short term. Plus more focus on delivering funding to innovative companies in sectors of key importance.


We may see enhancements to the British Business Bank and Innovate UK to ensure its ability to deliver funding aligns with its broader economic inclusivity and support for small business finance

Liberal Democrats

We may see it uses the various government agencies & organisations (Innovate UK, British Business Bank etc) to deliver their particular drive to ensure business supports human rights, green initiatives and trade with EU

Green Party

We are likely to see a refocus all the delivery channels to provide more initiatives to prioritise green and sustainable projects, ensuring alignment with the party’s environmental goals


Its policies promote a business-friendly environment and in its wish to support small businesses it is likely to encourage agencies to increase alternative financing options


It may increase access to finance through an expanded offering through the Scottish Growth Scheme, which offers loans and equity finance.  Also likely to promote alternative funding sources such as crowdfunding and offering financial support for innovation and expansion projects within small businesses

Plaid Cymru

With a focus on supporting small businesses as part of their broader economic strategy for Wales, its policies are likely to include launching additional initiatives to deliver more funding schemes for Welsh businesses, including delivery via the Development Bank for Wales


Emphasising the need to improve infrastructure and continuing skills development, initiatives could include supporting businesses who would enhance those objectives with grants via Invest Northern Ireland

Sinn Féin

There will be a likely focus on how businesses can deliver social equity and sustainability. Increasing delivery of funding to companies to aid innovation and growth, along with developing digital infrastructure and efficiency, so that Northern Ireland  can boost economic growth and remain competitive, benefiting all areas of society. 

What do accountants think?

We asked some of our accounting partners what they thought the next Government should concentrate on and this is what they told us:

Michael Watts, Corporate Finance Partner, Haslers:

"I think the next government needs to look at extending RLS or GGS specifically in the construction sector.   They have had the perfect storm, Brexit, covid, supply chain issues, inflation all leading to loss making contracts that might have been tendered some time ago. A number of previously good companies have struggled and failed"

Pippa Miller-Hawkes, Director & Principal, BSN Associates:

  • "Support with green energy initiatives for businesses to reduce carbon footprint through reputable providers – e.g. invest in solar panels, alternative energy sources (ground source heat etc/biomass etc) and long term investment in the business infrastructure to achieve efficient ways of working
  • Assessment of key industries that will upskill our workforce as a country and assist GDP growth and ability to reduce imports and provide access to cheaper funding to allow these companies to take on apprentices to train and grow their businesses. 
  • Support through for companies that have been trading for a number of years with successful profit levels and have a track record of paying tax with access to government funding schemes for plant & equipment/IT systems and infrastructure/investment in AI in their processes/working capital to grow"

After Election Night, we’ll still be here

Whichever way the country votes, you can be sure that at Capitalise we’ll have all the latest insights for you to support your clients to build healthy balance sheets. 

If you're an accountant, speak to your Partnership Manager for more information or look out for the monthly Accounting Bites video updates with our CEO, Paul Surtees, and Accountant-in-Residence, Kirsty McGregor. They will help you understand the state of the market and how it affects your clients.


If you're a business owner, you can apply for funding from 100+ UK lenders with Capitalise. Plus, when you sign up you can check your business credit score and the scores of the companies you work with to stay on top of your financial health.

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