January 18, 2013 - Rachel Miller
As a new round of the Regional Growth Fund has opened, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has called on businesses across the country to bid for a share of the £350 million cash pot.
So far, the Regional Growth Fund has helped 180 projects get started, representing 89% of the total funding. Projects from the first three rounds have pledged to create or safeguard a total of 500,000 jobs along with an injection of £13 billion private sector investment into the economy.
Nick Clegg said: "With this next round of funding, I would urge England's budding businesses to produce top quality bids to access the money that can help them grow. There'll be stiff competition, and we can only invest in those projects that will lead to sustainable jobs and the best value for money. Boosting jobs and growth is our number one priority for Britain right now."
Business minister Michael Fallon said: "The Regional Growth Fund is playing a pivotal role in supporting business and enterprise. This additional round and the improved processes we have put in place will help keep the momentum going."
Round four of the Regional Growth Fund will close to applications on 20 March. Potential applicants can attend expressions of interest events in their region for help with the process. The first of these will be in Manchester on 31 January. Further events are planned in February in Birmingham, Leeds, Gateshead and Nottingham and dates for the south will be announced soon.
The Regional Growth Fund is a £2.6 billion fund operating across England from 2011 to 2016. It supports projects that lever private sector investment to create jobs and growth. The latest additional funding was announced in the 2012 Autumn Statement.