A bank designed to help smaller businesses access finance has appointed a new manager for the North West.

The British Business Bank - the government-owned economic development bank intended to make finance markets work better for smaller businesses – is establishing a UK Network.

This will include having dedicated team members for each of the English regions, with Sue Barnard appointed as the senior manager for the network in the North West.

She will represent the UK Network across the North West and work with business finance stakeholders in the region. She will be supporting Geoff Whiteland, the recently appointed UK Network Director, for the North of England and the Midlands.

The UK Network was originally announced as part of the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy in November 2017, with a remit to identify and reduce imbalances in access to finance for smaller businesses.

The bank hopes the UK Network will help it develop a deeper understanding of small business finance markets in all parts of the UK and improve its support.

Sue said: “I am extremely pleased to be joining the newly created UK Network and look forward to continuing to work across the North West. I want to build lasting relationships across the region’s business finance ecosystem and ensure that smaller businesses are encouraged to explore the different finance options available to them.”

Sue joined the bank in 2016 as senior relationship manager for the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.

Sue has held similar positions in the last 20 years with the Greater Manchester Business Growth Hub and the North West Development Agency.

Geoff said: “I am very happy to welcome Sue to the UK Network, where she will be able to build on her existing network in the North West to enhance and build our relationships with key SME finance stakeholders and to help identify and reduce imbalances in access to finance for smaller businesses.”