Tom Keighley

Member Article

1 billion added to Regional Growth Fund

A further £1 billion boost to the regional growth fund was set out on Tuesday by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, as he visited the North West.

Mr Clegg announcded at least another two rounds of bidding to take place, the first of which will commence in February 2012.

It brings the total pot to £2.4 billion, with the focus remaining on job creation, private investment, and supporting area dependent on the public sector.

Tuesday’s announcement is expected to encourage cities to come forward with innovative programmes and projects, building upon successful approaches adopted in previous rounds.

James Ramsbotham, chief executive of the NECC, remained cautious about the announcement.

He said: “The extension to the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) by £1bn could be seen as the most positive announcement for the region from the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement given the level of funding North East businesses have already secured.

“While the RGF announcement should deliver substantial investment in the short to medium term, it is a time limited scheme and the fundamental challenges for rebalancing the economy are still not being met.

Business Secretary Vince Cable, said: “This fund is helping businesses across the country to create jobs – giving them the support they need to turn new ideas into actions that will drive their growth and future success.

“The Regional Growth Fund is already having an impact, with more than 50 per cent of the projects from the first round already up and running.

“The extra £1 billion we are investing will enable us to build on this success and deliver a shot in the arm to local economies.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Tom Keighley .

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