Businesses compete for Regional Growth Fund
By Daniel Hunter
Over 400 applications are competing for a share of £1 billion funding in the third round of the Regional Growth Fund, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills can confirm.
The Regional Growth Fund is designed to encourage growth and jobs in the private sector and support regions that are overly dependent on the public sector. The first two rounds are set to create and protect 328,000 jobs across the country.
The third round has now closed. The 409 projects, which altogether have bid for £2.68 billion will now be assessed by the Independent Advisory Panel, chaired by Lord Heseltine, over the summer. The panel will then make recommendations to a Ministerial Group, led by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, that will make the final decisions as to which proposals should receive funding.
It is expected that the successful bidders will be announced in the autumn.
There was a strong regional spread across England with the most bids coming from the North West region which bid for 13% of the funding. Similarly the West Midlands bid for 15% of the funding — the highest percentage out of all the regions.
Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, said:
“The Regional Growth Fund is already helping companies across the country grow their businesses and create jobs that last.
“£1.4 billion has already been allocated to 176 businesses, which are expected to create and protect up to 328,000 jobs. So far 96 of these businesses have started accessing their funding, and many projects have started their projects while they wait for a final offer.
“This third round will continue to create jobs by unlocking private sector investment, letting businesses in Britain thrive. There has been a fantastic response from businesses bidding for a share of the extra £1 billion funding. I look forward to announcing which projects... continued on page two >