Businesses can apply for a convertible loan of up to £5m as part of a Government scheme to aid recovery from the coronavirus outbreak.

The convertible loans of between £125,000 and £5m are available from the coronavirus Future Fund and designed to support growth and innovation in sectors such as technology, life sciences and the creative industries.

The Government has made an initial £250 million available for investment through the Future Fund scheme and says it will consider increasing this if needed.

However, the funding must be at least match funded by private investors, potentially including venture capital funds, angel investors and those backed by regional funds.

The Government said the loans may be an option for businesses that rely on equity investment and are unable to access other business support programmes because they are either pre-revenue or pre-profit.

The scheme is open for applications until the end of September.

Copeland MP Trudy Harrison said it was good news for businesses in her constituency.

She said: “The Future Fund is great news for high growth and innovative businesses here in Copeland, helping them build the bridge from today’s severe challenges to the period of recovery, enabling them to survive then thrive.”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “The Future Fund will support firms across the UK to get through the pandemic by stimulating investment, so that they can continue to break new ground in technology and innovation.”

Match fund investors will be encouraged to sign the Treasury’s Investing in Women Code, which commits firms to improving female entrepreneurs’ access to tools, resources and finance.

The Government will also amend the rules of the Enterprise Investment Scheme, which provides tax relief to investors in high growth firms, to protect Future Fund investors from losing relief on their previous investments made prior to any investment through the Future Fund.

The fund is delivered in partnership with the British Business Bank.