Regional Growth Fund Projects Announced
In the latest round of the Regional Growth Fund the winning projects are announced by Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg.
The fourth round of the government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) finds 102 businesses taking their share of the £506 million funding pot.
By earmarking just over half a billion pounds for projects the Regional Growth Fund is expected to encourage further private sector growth and hopefully to create jobs too.
Big businesses such as the world’s biggest car manufacturer Toyota have won money from the Regional Growth Fund so that they can develop and build new cars in the UK.
But small businesses are included in the share of RGF and so too are a number of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs).
Announcing the winners on his visit to the Toyota plant in Derbyshire, Nick Clegg said of the latest round of funding:
“There are more people in work today than ever before – since 2010 we have helped create 1.3 million jobs in the private sector. That’s what the Regional Growth Fund is all about – and I’m extremely proud to have found extra money to invest in projects across the country that have plans for the future and want to recruit local talent that will make their businesses better.”
The Deputy Prime Minister continued:
“The Regional Growth Fund is exactly what this country needs to go for growth – from family-run Cartwright Group in Manchester who are now expanding to create 300 jobs and train up to 30 apprentices every year for the next three years, to Toyota who will use the money to help increase their ability to develop and produce new generations of Toyota cars right here in the UK, securing jobs and creating opportunities for the future.”
Business Secretary Vince Cable also spoke about the latest round of Regional Growth Fund spending:
“In tough economic times we need successful schemes such as the Regional Growth Fund which has been vital in stimulating private investment that would otherwise not have gone ahead. We have already helped over 2,600 SMEs through RGF programmes and recently announced a further £600 million RGF funding to be available from 2015 so that we can continue to support British business and manufacturing.”
“We are laying the right foundations for stability and good solid business growth as well as supporting sectors prioritised in the government’s industrial strategy – from automotive to oil and gas. Companies and their local economies are seeing the benefits of the Regional Growth Fund, creating jobs for the long term.”
The EEF’s Roger Salomone and Business Minister Michael Fallon also praised the scheme.
But as well as promising cash to help develop business in particular regions of the country, an RGF Annual Monitoring Report (AMR) has been set up to track the benefits of RGF spending.
In the first report, published today, the RGF AMR states that job creation is "on target" with 32,000 jobs either created or safeguarded. In March 2013 companies had committed to a figure of 31,500.
An addition £1.2 billion of private sector money has already been added to existing projects and is projected to, again, either safeguard or create a number of jobs – this figure is expected to be around 26,000.
In May last year the National Audit Office recognised that a certain number of jobs could be created by the Regional Growth Fund but was critical of the fact that it expected greater numbers of private sector jobs to be created for the amount of cash injected into the scheme.
Amyas Morse, the head of the National Audit Office said, at the time, that:
“…the government should develop more challenging targets for the number of jobs projects should generate relative to their cost.”
Details of the RGF for SMEs can be seen at https://www.gov.uk/regional-growth-fund-a-guide-for-small-and-medium-enterprises-smes