By Daniel Hunter

A manufacturer in Haydock was praised for securing £1.1 million from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund today, during a visit by the Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk.

Harpscreen Ltd, a manufacturer of screening equipment for the recycling, road building and quarrying sectors, has also unlocked £3.3 million of private investment as part of the project. The funding will go towards enhancing and expanding their manufacturing facilities to develop their range of products for the domestic and overseas markets.

The funding, which was awarded from round two of the Regional Growth Fund (RGF), will help Harpscreen to reduce its dependency on imported supplies and enable them to be more competitive. The expansion will safeguard jobs and create 66 permanent new ones.

As part of the Minister’s tour to the North West, he also met with the Liverpool City Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to discuss opportunities for business, innovation and entrepreneurship in the region.

While touring the Harpscreen plant, Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk said:

“Manufacturing plays a vital role in the UK economy and I am pleased to see the positive impact of the Regional Growth Fund in supporting business and boosting British manufacturing in the North West.

“The investment at Harpscreen is great news for the region in creating new jobs and allowing the business to remain competitive and export to new markets. I wish them every success for the future.”

Harpscreen Managing Director, Kevin McCabe, said:

“This is a fantastic shot in the arm for Harpscreen as a British manufacturer and will help us in realising our growth aspirations both in the UK and globally. The RGF funding has enabled a project that would have struggled to come to fruition to become a reality.”

Robert Hough, Chair of the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership said:

“Harpscreen’s commitment to their Haydock site is a huge vote of confidence for St Helens. The £1.1million secured from RGF will not only create jobs but will deliver investment in advanced manufacturing techniques in Liverpool City Region.

“The LEP has worked with a number of businesses to support their bids for the RGF and it is great to see them succeed.”

It was also announced this week that another RGF winner in the North West - Regenerate Pennine Lancashire — has opened its Accelerating Business Growth (ABG) scheme to help fund business growth projects within the Lancashire area.

The partnership, which was awarded £7.5 million, will help fund business growth within the manufacturing sector and create jobs in the local economy.

Commenting on the Regenerate Pennine Lancashire scheme Mark Prisk said:

“I am pleased to see another RGF winner in the North West area coming into fruition. The Regenerate Pennine Lancashire scheme will be vital in creating up to 3000 jobs and creating a more balanced economy.

“The impact of RGF on the ground cannot be underestimated in delivering funding to parts of the country that need it most and helping manufacturing and local enterprise. It is good value for money and delivers approximately £6 of private sector investment for every £1 of public money.”

Deputy Managing Director of Regenerate, Steve Szostak, said:

“ABG will help growing businesses to acquire new machinery and make property improvements that will lead to the creation of new jobs in Lancashire. I encourage local firms to take advantage of this new fund, which will have a positive impact on Lancashire’s economy.”

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