Deputy Prime Minister praises home-grown and British-based businesses for their crucial role in economic recovery
A new round of the UK's Regional Growth Fund has opened as the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, called on businesses across the country to bid for a share of the £300m cash pot.
He praised ‘home-grown and British-based businesses’ for their crucial role in Britain’s economic recovery.
So far £2.6bn from the first four rounds of the Regional Growth Fund has supported more than 400 projects and programmes, which will create and safeguard hundreds of thousands of jobs over the long-term and stimulate £14.7bn of private sector investment.
Round 5 will be open to private sector bidders seeking £1m or more. The government is calling for companies planning high quality projects that will generate significant private sector investment and sustainable jobs. Businesses will be able to submit their bids until noon on 9 December 2013.
'This fund has so far helped more than 400 projects and more than 3,000 SMEs across the country to boost our economy - expanding, improving, innovating and helping secure our economic recovery,' said Clegg. 'The economic recovery is starting to bloom – we’re seeing very encouraging signs that we are turning a crucial corner on our road to recovery.
'Home-grown and British-based businesses are leading that charge for a stronger economy. The Regional Growth Fund is a helping hand from the government, but I pay tribute to the people who are working hard to fuel our recovery.
'My message to businesses in every region is clear - if you’ve got a project that needs a boost, bid for cash from the Regional Growth Fund.'
To help bidders on their applications, road shows and expression of interest days will be held throughout the country from today to provide advice on how to make a successful bid. These will be in the following locations:
'Round 5 requires minimum bids of £1m but smaller bids are also supported by the fund through programmes. That is why I am making sure that local and national programmes are available to small to medium-sized businesses from as little as £5,000 in some areas all the way up to £1m. Since the Fund started, more than 3,000 grants have been given to SMEs through programmes,' said Business Minister Michael Fallon.
'We expect there will be stiff competition, so companies should take time over their application and demonstrate the benefits that support will bring. We want more businesses to benefit so that they can achieve their ambitions.'
Round 6 of the Regional Growth Fund will be launched in the summer of 2014 so that any companies that will not be ready to apply by December can start planning for applications in 2014.