By Marcus Leach
Lord Heseltine was in York at a road show to promote the second round of the Regional Growth Fund and encourage bidders to compete for a share of £950m.
Lord Heseltine spoke about the importance of economic growth and the role of the Regional Growth Fund. He then took questions about the process of submitting high-quality bids that offer the potential to create new jobs.
More than 200 businesses and organisations attended the fourth in a series of road shows at the Ron Cooke Hub at the University of York, and more than 1,000 are expected to attend the series of road shows over the next few weeks.
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.
Lord Heseltine said:
“The Regional Growth Fund was exceptionally popular in the first round, and we received many bids that demonstrated strategic thinking on how to create jobs and contribute to local economies.
“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.
Ministers announced in April that there were 50 successful bidders from the first round of the Regional Growth Fund. These bidders will share £450m if they pass a process of due diligence.