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National Tooling Loan Fund



Geographic Availability

Across England

Investment Amounts

£50k to £2m

Investment Directors

Steve Hetherington
Marie Kelly

The National Tooling Loan Fund is now processing applications through our appointed representative Frontier Development Capital. For enquiries about this fund or for further information visit:

Visit :


Call: 0345 319 4528

In 2014 Finance Birmingham launched the £24m National Tooling Loan Fund, created to help component manufacturers and toolmakers, based anywhere in England, to finance the manufacture of tooling. Funded jointly by £12m from the Governments Regional Growth Fund and £12m from the private sector, the Tooling Funding Programme offers loan funding to support the design, development and manufacture of tooling across any sector. By supporting the growth potential of national tooling businesses, Finance Birmingham are helping supply chains across England to take advantage of new business opportunities and create jobs.

The fund aims to support those manufacturing businesses in the supply chain that have received an enquiry/order originated by an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) or a ‘Prime’, either directly from that OEM/Prime or from a Tier 1, Tier 2 etc company within that supply chain. In many cases the requirement will be to fund the tooling necessary to make component parts which will feature as part of a larger sub-assembly to be provided to the OEM/Prime. However this Funding Programme is not exclusive to the Automotive sector and consideration will be given to any funding request for tooling where there is an order for the part to be manufactured.

The timeline between when an OEM/Prime places its order for a part (and thus triggers the need for tooling to be manufactured) to when they finally pay for it can be up to 24 months and this can have a significant impact on the level of working capital within the business. Some businesses cannot make this commitment from their own resources and the Tooling Funding Programme looks to ‘bridge’ this working capital need. 

Key Features

      • Fund designed to support the toolmakers and part manufacturers.
      • Available finance of between £50k and £2m.
      • To support the creation of new jobs and maintaining existing workforces.
      • Funds contribute towards the design, development and manufacture of tooling or expansion of tooling capacity.


      • Final manufacturing of the tooling and subsequent component production must be in England.
      • Need to show difficulty securing the required level of funding for tool manufacturing.
      • New jobs need to be created and/or safeguarded, in England, as a result of funding.
      • A firm order for the tooling will originate from an Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM), a tier 1 supplier or from further along the supply chain, with a payment due upon satisfactory completion of tooling.
      • Suitable security may be required.
      • The cost of borrowing (interest rate) will be at a commercial rate of 7.5% over the prevailing base rate and an arrangement fee of 2%, subject to discussions with the applicant.

      Application Process

      Applicants wishing to apply should first read the “Application Guidance Notes”, which can be downloaded from the link below.

      National Tooling Loan Fund Guidance Notes .pdf

      Following that an “Expression of Interest” form should be completed and sent to

      National Tooling Loan Fund Expression of Interest Form (EOI).doc

      Once an EOI form has been submitted, a member of the Finance Birmingham will review the information and will contact you regarding the next steps of the application process.

      National Tooling Loan Fund Application Form.doc

      For more information about the Tooling Fund or to enquire about the application process call Steve Hetherington or Marie Kelly at Frontier Development Capital on 0345 319 4528 
      or email


      Frequently Asked Questions