By Max Clarke
Former Tory MP and self made millionaire policy advisor, Lord Heseltine, is today kicking off a series of road shows to promote the second round of the Regional Growth Fund and encourage bidders to compete for a share of £950m.
The first road show takes place in Margate, Kent, where Lord Heseltine will speak about the importance of economic growth and the role of the Regional Growth Fund. He will then take questions about the process of submitting high-quality bids that offer the potential to create new jobs.
More than 150 businesses and organisations are expected to attend the event at Margate’s Winter Garden and more than 1,000 are expected to attend the series of road shows over the next few weeks.
“The Regional Growth Fund was exceptionally popular in the first round,” said Lord Heseltine, “and we received many bids that demonstrated strategic thinking on how to create jobs and contribute to local economies.”
The Regional Growth Fund has been designed to provide support for projects that can drive sustainable economic growth and create new private sector jobs; and particularly help communities that are currently dependent on the public sector make the transition to private sector-led growth and prosperity
Lord Heseltine is Chair of the Independent Advisory Panel, which will consider all bids for funding and make recommendations to Ministers, led by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, about which should be supported. He is supported by Deputy Chair, Sir Ian Wrigglesworth and a team of academics, business and civic leaders.
Heseltine continued: “I hope businesses and public-private partnerships are inspired to think about innovative and creative ways of making a difference to growth and shaping their economic future, and that we will see results of this thinking when we are assessing bids.
“The road shows are an excellent opportunity for potential bidders to find out more information about ensuring bids meet the objectives and criteria. I urge all those interested to ask questions, and get as much out of these events as possible.”
The second round of the Regional Growth Fund opened to bids on April 12 and will close at midday on July 1. The second round will aim to allocate around £950m — the bulk of the £1.4bn fund.