A further £297 million has been allocated to the Regional Growth Fund (RGF), deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has announced.
The fund was introduced in 2010 with the intention of stimulating growth in British business across the UK – thus encouraging private sector investment in firms outside the traditional powerhouse of London.
The government claims that the programme has supported the creation of 100,000 jobs so far– with another 480,000 forecast across the next 10 years. In total £2.85 billion has been invested in six separate funding rounds.
Regional manufacturing is one the areas that has benefitted most from the fund; with £1.1 billion injected into the industry. This includes £364 million in automotive, £100 million in aerospace and £104 million for low carbon enterprises.
The latest investment will be split across 63 projects across the UK. It is hoped that the private sector will support the fund with up to £1.5 billion of additional investment.
Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said he want to use to fund to address “decades of regional economies being neglected”.
“This investment has allowed regional businesses to be more ambitious than ever before and gone a long way in creating a stronger economy,” he said. “A stronger economy means providing equal opportunity for everyone across the UK, rather than solely relying on the city of London to bolster UK business.
“The success of the RGF is proof that putting money in the hands of local businesses helps them flourish and creates opportunities for more people to work locally.”
Universities, science and cities minister Greg Clark added that the government is “supporting local businesses and enterprise across the country, helping them to expand and create long-term, skilled jobs”.
“This latest round of RGF investments will help local firms fulfil their ambitions for growth, encourage businesses to set up bases in the UK and boost jobs and prosperity,” he said.
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