1. ITV Report

£1 billion boost for regional growth

Industrial landscape Photo: ITV Yorkshire

The £1 billion third round of the Government’s Regional Growth Fund will create or safeguard thousands of jobs over the long term, benefitting 130 projects and leveraging £6 billion of private sector investment, the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will announce today.

The 130 selected bidders to the fund, which will use public money to leverage private sector investment, were whittled down from an initial 414 applications through a competitive process.

The Government investment will help manufacturing firms, small businesses and local partnerships across England to expand their operations, create new jobs and stimulate growth – the Government’s top priority.

Bidders will be putting in £6 billion of their own cash for these projects and programmes which are expected to create and safeguard more than 240,000 jobs over the long term. This comes in addition to the 300,000 jobs that are being created or safeguarded from rounds 1 and 2 of the fund - the majority of which are being added over the next 5 years.

Figures show that for every £1 of taxpayer money spent, the Fund will leverage £6 of private sector investment. This will be key to sustaining jobs for the long term.

£697 million of the £1.05 billion pot (which includes £55 million recycled from rounds one and two) will go to the private sector including 101 companies. A further £358 million will go to 29 intermediaries such as local authorities and local enterprise partnerships to ensure that funding goes to local growth priorities in parts of the country that need it most.

The announcement will be made as the Deputy Prime Minister visits two companies that have benefited from the RegionalGrowth Fund.

Nick Clegg MP Credit: ITV Yorkshire

This £1 billion boost for growth in towns and cities across England is creating jobs that will last in the parts of the country that need it most.

“In tough economic times the Regional Growth Fund is good value for taxpayers’ money – this £1 billion round of the fund is pulling in £6 billion of private sector investment.

“I have seen for myself the real difference this makes on the ground – from iconic businesses like Eddie Stobart expanding in Widnes and creating 3,450 jobs in the local area, to the Sunderland car parts factory, Unipres who have used their funding to buy a new 3,000 tonne press, letting them accelerate production and take on an extra 316 people.

“The Regional Growth Fund is working, on track and supporting businesses to create jobs and grow the economy.”

– Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg