The £1bn, third tranche of the Government’s Regional Growth Fund has been allocated across the regions.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has announced that 130 projects will receive a share of the money, which is in turn expected to leverage around £6bn in private sector investment.
414 applications were originally made and this investment will help manufacturing firms, small businesses and local partnerships across England to expand and create new jobs.
The Government estimates that around 240,000 jobs will be created or safeguarded over the long term, and expect that for every taxpayer £1, the Fund will leverage £6 of private sector investment.
The pot is divided between 101 private sector companies who will get £697, and 29 local authorities who will receive £358.Mr Clegg was in the North East to make the the announcement.
He said: “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.”
The West Midlands received the greatest proportion of the money with delivery of £124m, followed by the North East at £105m and the North West with £88m.
Business Minister, Michael Fallon said: “Round 3 created a lot of high-quality demand for the fund which made the decision process very tough. However the selected bidders represent a good breadth of different sectors and a strong distribution across the country.
“The selection process has been very fast - from companies applying to allocating funds in only five months. So we are keen to get a move on which is why this time, those selected have now only three months to agree final offers, and three months to complete due diligence. We want to ensure good value for the taxpayer and to get these projects started as soon as possible.
”Local Growth Minister Mark Prisk added: “Local enterprise partnerships need the right tools and resources to help deliver growth and jobs in their communities. So I’m delighted to announce today that over £350m will be shared between 29 partnerships, enabling them to build on their successes and plan for the future. This funding will ensure they remain locally-led, and focused on helping to boost businesses in their area without the need for long-term central-Government support.”
Katja Hall, CBI Chief Policy Director, added: “The Regional Growth Fund is helping to meet businesses’ needs for growth capital up and down the country, enabling the successful companies to get projects off the ground.
“By committing to making final offers and completing due diligence within six months, the Government has rightly moved to tackle one of the main criticisms of the Fund previously.
“Further backing for Local Enterprise Partnership programmes will help provide greater opportunities to boost local economies and ensure that funding can reach small and medium sized companies, as well as large ones.”