By Max Clarke

Statistics published today by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills show that the most number of bids to the Regional Growth Fund came from the North West.

The £1.4 billion Regional Growth Fund is designed to encourage enterprise, growth and jobs in the private sector and support regions that are dependent on the public sector. A total of 89 bids were submitted to the fund from the region out of a total of 464.

The statistics also include a breakdown of the number of bids received from local enterprise partnership areas and a breakdown of the value of the bids in summary form.
Once the Independent Advisory Panel, chaired by Lord Heseltine, has assessed the bids, they will advise a panel of ministers chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

Lord Heseltine said:

“The regional breakdown of the number of bids sent in to the fund provides a useful insight in to the economic priorities of the areas and which regions believe they will benefit the most from extra government support.

“It is our task now to extract those bids that are going to make a real difference to boosting private sector jobs and local growth. The level of response to the Regional Growth Fund suggests it’s not going to be an easy task.”

As part of a competitive bidding process the number of bids received should help ensure that government support is best directed to projects that meet the objectives and criteria, and create the maximum benefits in those areas that are most needy.

The figures being made available today also show:

• That most of the bids were for between £1m and £5m (299 or 64 per cent);

• The total value of first round bids is £2.78 billion.

• The breakdown by local enterprise partnership areas.
The Regional Growth Fund will run for three years and there will be a second round this year. The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills will announce the dates for the second round shortly.