Homes England and United Trust Bank (UTB) have launched a £250m “housing accelerator fund” for SMEs.

The fund, which is accepting applications from today, will provide small and medium-sized builders construction loans of between £1m and £10m at up to 70% loan to gross development value.

Gordon More, chief investment officer of Homes England said: “The housing accelerator fund is open for business from today. In line with Homes England’s commitment to support SMEs, it will help smaller builders get on and build now, as well as improve the lending landscape for SMEs by driving competition in the market, improving choice and encouraging innovation.”

Noel Meredith, executive director of United Trust Bank, said: “This alliance will help to reinvigorate and increase diversity in the SME housebuilding sector, and boost housing supply in areas under the greatest affordability pressures.”

Housing minister Christopher Pincher added: “This is win-win. It will not only support our commitment to build more homes, but also give smaller developers easier access to finance.”