By Daniel Hunter

Bentley Motors has successfully secured an additional £3 million of funding from the Regional Growth Fund, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will announce today (Tuesday).

Coupled with an investment of £1.69 million from the Regional Growth Fund in January, a total of 500 new jobs will be created and 200 jobs will be protected at the company’s headquarters in Crewe thanks to the funding project which sees government and the private sector work together to boost regional growth.

The further £3 million of funding will be used by the world-famous company, which has manufactured luxury cars since 1919, to fund an innovative new engine research and development project which will help the business expand into new overseas markets, including China. Over £20 million of private investment has been secured for the project alongside £3 million government funding.

The Deputy Prime Minister will visit the Crewe plant today to meet recent Bentley recruits. The funding has been secured after a period of strict checks by the company and the government to ensure the deal offers the best value for money to taxpayers.

“It is fantastic to be announcing 500 new and 200 protected jobs here in Crewe today. Creating jobs and growth is my number one priority for Britain right now," Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said.

“For too long the UK economy has been too focused on the City of London. The Regional Growth Fund is helping companies across the country to grow their businesses and create jobs.

“Today’s announcement is just the tip of the iceberg for the North West. All in all 47 bids to the Regional Growth Fund have been approved. This will mean over 13,000 new and protected jobs across the region and over 41,000 supply chain jobs.”

Bentley also received £1.69 million of funding in January this year from the first round of the Regional Growth Fund. The investment is being used to train new staff and create more products. 500 jobs are being created for this work.

“We are delighted to welcome the Deputy Prime Minister to Crewe. We are greatly encouraged by his comments that the manufacturing sector and companies like Bentley have a key role to play in developing a stronger and more balanced economy," Bentley’s Chief Executive, Wolfgang Duerheimer said.

“The funding we have received from the Regional Growth Fund will help us in two key ways. First, it will help ensure that we have a skilled workforce we need to deliver our projects and remain globally competitive. Second, the R&D support enables us to work on a key engine development project that will help us expand in key markets.

“Bentley has had a fantastic start to 2012 and our sales show that there is huge global demand for high quality luxury automotive products manufactured in Crewe.”

The Deputy Prime Minister will also announce that, across the country, another 22 successful Regional Growth Fund bids, worth more than £300 million have had their contracts signed. The list includes North West businesses Getrag Ford, Double R Controls Ltd and Eldonians Group Limited in the North West.

This latest batch of funding will help create more than 70,000 direct and supply chain jobs up and down the country and means that the successful companies can now access the funds they applied for, although many projects are already underway.

The announcement brings the total number of signed contracts to 70, and total investment available to companies to nearly £540 million.

“These latest contracts will bring a significant boost to the companies and help them create jobs and growth," Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said.

“The total support provided by the Regional Growth Fund now stands at nearly £540 million, which will help create almost 124,000 jobs. This is an excellent start, but there is more to come. More contracts are being signed all the time and with the third round of the fund up and running, more companies can put themselves forward for support with their plans for growth.”

The £2.4 billion Regional Growth Fund uses public money to leverage private sector investment fund projects which will create long term jobs, sustainable growth and boost the local economy. For every £1 put in by Government, the private sector invests at least £6. So far the fund has provisionally awarded £1.4 billion to 176 projects across the country which will lead to 330,000 jobs.

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