Government announces extra �1bn under Regional Growth Fund

AN EXTRA �1billion is being made available to businesses seeking support to create new jobs, the Government announced today.

The money is part of the Regional Growth Fund, which now totals �2.4 billion, which is attracting a growing number of companies trying to access cash.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said there had been over 170 successful bids to the fund, leveraging around �7.5 billion of private sector investment and set to create and protect 330,000 jobs.

“I want to see more businesses that are confident they can create jobs and get Britain building and making things again, coming forward, making sure their hats are in the ring,” he said.

“Funding from rounds one and two has gone to some extraordinarily promising manufacturing projects. From Pirelli Tyres in Carlisle who’ll use the money to develop a new range of carbon-cutting tyres; to a Portsmouth based company which hopes to use theirs to create a cutting edge boat building college.

“These are the kinds of projects that will lead their communities into brighter times, helping put industry at the heart of the UK’s economy. Businesses have until June to apply for a share of this extra �1 billion.”

Business Secretary Vince Cable, who due to open GKN Aerospace’s new �150 million manufacturing centre in Bristol today, added: “The Regional Growth Fund is starting to make excellent progress. The additional �1 billion in the fund will help us maintain momentum around supporting even more businesses and encouraging the creation of new jobs.

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“Many of the successful projects from rounds one and two were manufacturers and the sector remains one of our national success stories. Manufacturing lies right at the heart of the Government’s strategy for economic recovery and growth.”

Adam Marshall, director of policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “We welcome the extra �1 billion that the Government is making available to help improve the business environment in the English regions.

“We know that business is good for local communities because it creates jobs and prosperity. Allocations from the fund will help improve local conditions and clear the way for more private investment to follow.

“We are encouraged that ministers have committed to addressing some of the criticism that arose during previous bidding rounds, such as the complexity of the application process itself. We will watch carefully to ensure that strong applications do not get caught up in red tape or unnecessary delays.”