By Max Clarke

50 businesses and partnerships took part in the first round of bidding in Nick Clegg’s £450 million Regional Growth Fund, as part of the coalition’s efforts to boost private sector job creation.

”I am delighted to announce the first successful bids for the Regional Growth Fund,” commented Clegg. “I was bowled over by the quality of the bids. This money will now help create and safeguard jobs in some of the communities worst hit by the economic downturn.”

As the second round of bidding begins today, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI)’s Director for Business Environment, Rhian Kelly, comments on the proposals:

“We need to encourage growth throughout the UK and it is right that public money should only be spent on schemes that will genuinely help with job creation. The successful bids should help deliver this and are to be congratulated on the vision and scope of their pitches. It is encouraging to see so many different sectors are getting a boost.

“In the next round of bidding, the Government’s limited budget should be put into projects that will deliver real returns for all parts of the country.”