Regional Growth Fund: 2nd Round Bidding
Small businesses looking for development funding can pitch for support, following the launch of the second round of bidding for the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (The first round of bidding opened in December 2010)
The £1.4 billion Regional Growth Fund, launched last year, will provide backing for struggling businesses that can demonstrate that “their survival will create jobs and promote growth in their region”.
The first round of investment provided £450 million of investment to companies and partnerships across England, creating 100,000 new jobs. The second round of funding has now opened for bids. Businesses have until 1st July to apply.
Commenting on the first round of funding, business secretary Vince Cable said:
“The Regional Growth Fund is a competitive fund and we wanted to see proposals that created jobs in the private sector, in areas of deprivation and that are at risk from suffering from public sector cuts. I’m confident that the successful bids we have chosen will deliver on this.”
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, the Federation of Small Businesses’ spokesman, Andrew Cave, said the second round is more focused on small firms.
“The first round was six times oversubscribed and there was confusion between government departments over what they wanted the funds to do.”
“The second round is looking much more specifically at small businesses, but this won’t necessarily be a fund that your average small business will be applying for ? the lowest amount you apply for is £1 million. Where it’s likely to have an affect is where you have partnerships coming together and putting forward proposals for community finance initiatives, which can then distribute micro-loans to small businesses.”
“Small businesses should found out where those partnerships may be, where they can get micro loans, once those bids have been successful.”
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has launched a series of road shows across the UK to advise small firms on the bidding process and to encourage them to come forward with proposals.
For more information about the road shows and the bidding process, visit the BIS web pages on the RGF.