By Daniel Hunter

Northamptonshire is set to benefit from new funding as part of the fourth round of the government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF), as announced today (Thursday) by the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg.

Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP) will receive additional funding to support the High Performance Technologies (HPT) sector locally. This will significantly boost and expand the existing £1.2million ‘Northamptonshire HPT Investment Programme’ which is funded by previous rounds of the RGF.

The successful bid reflects a partnership between NEP and South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) and will develop the HPT sector in Northamptonshire and the wider area. The programme aims to support the development of the HPT network, which has been identified as a key cluster of industry activity in the county for future potential business and employment growth.

Paul Southworth, Chair of NEP said: “We are delighted that Northamptonshire is set to benefit from additional funding. As well as supporting SMEs in Northamptonshire, the new fund will provide extra capacity to support larger companies in researching and developing new products and initiatives. The funding will benefit the wider cluster, potentially outside of Northamptonshire, if projects can show sound support for the growth of the HPT network. This will be judged on the extent to which projects use the local HPT network supply chain, to further stimulate growth opportunities for local SMEs.”

Dr. Ann Limb OBE DL, Chair of SEMLEP said: “We are delighted with this success, which will enable SEMLEP to work alongside NEP to benefit businesses in the High Performance Technology sector, which is a key sector with potential to deliver growth in this area.”

There are around 800 companies in Northamptonshire’s HPT network, a cluster of industry activity which has developed from the county’s history and links with motorsport. The network has grown to incorporate companies operating in sectors such as defence, aerospace, marine, construction and renewables and is estimated to be worth over £2 billion to the local economy.

The fund will be run and managed by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership which is one of 102 companies and projects that successfully applied for a total of a £506 million funding. Northamptonshire based Fairline Boats Limited has also been successful in securing RGF funding to develop its business. The RGF is operating across England from 2011 to 2017 and supports projects and programmes that are using private sector investment to create economic growth and sustainable employment.

The different projects and programmes from this round will leverage £2.8 billion of additional private sector investment and create or safeguard 77,000 jobs. When added to the success of the first three rounds this represents a total of £15 billion private sector investment.

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