Barclays announces £370 million fund to boost Midlands economy

Barclays is launching a £370 million lending fund it says will boost jobs and economic growth across the Midlands.

Smaller manufacturers, tech firms and those investing in innovation and growth stand to benefit from the fund, said the bank.

Barclays chief executive Jes Staley said: "It is the entrepreneurs, the new tech firms, the small manufacturers, and the world-leading research and development companies, which will help the Midlands become a heartbeat of the UK economy - and Barclays is keen to play its part to make that happen."

Barclays has also announced a Master's Apprenticeship in Leadership, saying it is the first UK bank to offer this level of apprenticeship.

The two-year programme will allow eligible candidates to further their studies while continuing in their job.