The fourth round of the Regional Growth Fund finance scheme has seen 102 companies and projects receive conditional offers.
A total of £506 million is being injected into growth companies through the latest tranche of the government’s Regional Growth Fund initiative.
To coincide with the offers, the coalition has also published an inaugural Regional Growth Fund Annual Monitoring Report, which shows progress from the first two rounds of the scheme.
According to the report, 32,000 jobs have been created or safeguarded verses the 31,500 companies committed to create by March 2013, and £1.2 billion has been co-invested by the private sector – an overwhelming initiate of the finance project.
The fourth installment of the Regional Growth Fund was increased from its original amount of £350 million to £506 million, with the extra capital garnered through the re-use of money which had been previously allocated to a project or programme but which had changed or since been withdrawn.
Of the £506 million, £314 million will go ‘directly’ to the private sector, while £192 million will be given to 30 ‘programme beneficiaries’ including local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships. The conditional offers are based on now conducting a due diligence process.
A breakdown of the allocations reveals that the North West (18), East of England and South East (17) and West Midlands (16) lead the way with most conditional offers, while the East Midlands (13), Yorkshire and Humber (11), North East (10), South West (9) and Nationwide (8) make up the rest.
More on the Regional Growth Fund:
- How to apply for the Regional Growth Fund
- Growth fund delivery speed attacked
- RGF – Just a smokescreen for more cuts?
Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg comments, ‘The Regional Growth Fund is exactly what this country needs to go for growth – from family-fun Cartright 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 cars right here in the UK, securing jobs and creating opportunities for the future.’
The government predicts that those successful in gaining offers from the fourth round of the Regional Growth Fund will leverage a further £2.8 billion of additional private sector investment and create or protect 77,000 jobs.
Explaining why the fourth installment was increased from £350 million to £506 million, business minister Michael Fallon says, ‘The quality of applications was very high which is why we increased the pot to accommodate even more projects and programmes which will bring sustainable private sector growth and jobs across the country.
‘My focus has always been on delivery and the deadlines I have introduced have helped speed up the awards process so that companies have more certainty to invest, hire and grow.’
The 102 selected companies and intermediaries were whittled down from a long list of 309 applications which asked for over £1.9 billion.