A SOCIAL enterprise providing funding to businesses which have been refused lending from the banks has opened an office in York.

The Business Enterprise Fund was set up in Bradford ten years ago, and now has a team of two people working out of an office in Blake House, in Blake Street.

The fund exists to support small and medium sized enterprises with loans from £500 to £150,000, with a goal of lending £5.6 million in the West and North Yorkshire area this year, £1.5 million of which has been set aside of the York region.

Investment manager Simon Middleton, who will be working from the new York office alongside David Winspear, said: "My background is commercial banking. It's completely refreshing to get out of the banking sector to something that has got a lot of similarities in that we are lending to SMEs but you can focus on that and not the onerous targets that come with banking.

"We support our clients throughout the time of the lend. We work with them to get them back into main stream funding."

Meg Heath, deputy fund director at the Business Enterprise Fund, added: "We have been lending in York and the York area for some time, and we now felt it was a priority to have a base here. We expanded with an office in Leeds two years ago and York was always the next step."