The project will create jobs across the, Heart of the South West and the Cornwall and Scilly Isles local enterprise partnership regions. It will do this by awarding grants to small businesses that have struggled to access finance through other means.
All of the successful bids from round one of the fund are subject to a due diligence process and this is the first to receive funding.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said:
“I applaud this initiative of Plymouth University and Western Morning News. It’s a very imaginative scheme to promote small business in the area. The aim of the Regional Growth Fund is to help local people unlock the growth and jobs opportunities in their area, and I’m pleased bids from the first round are starting to make progress towards achieving this.
“Support for small business is vital to help encourage new businesses and entrepreneurs, and the private investment this scheme will bring in will give a real boost to the economy.
“The Regional Growth Fund has been hugely popular and I’m looking forward to more proposals getting up and running and doing their bit to help create jobs and deliver long-term growth.”
Professor Wendy Purcell, Vice-Chancellor of Plymouth University, said:
“In partnership, Plymouth University is leading the development of a radical ‘innovation landscape’ across the South West Peninsula. It’s a new model and we’re already seeing great results.
“The launch of the Plymouth University and Western Morning News Growth Fund will take us to the next level in driving economic growth, to help SMEs create jobs in the region.”
Alan Qualtrough, Editor of the Western Morning News, added:
“The Western Morning News is delighted to be involved in the Regional Growth Fund and to help the South West create a spirit of enterprise.”
The £1.4 billion Regional Growth Fund aims to support private or private-public partnership led bids for proposals, which will create long term jobs, sustainable growth and boost the local economy.
The first round of the fund received more than 450 bids, 50 of which were announced as successful in April. These bids are now subject to a process of due diligence and it is expected final details of these bids will be confirmed in the autumn.
The second round of the fund closed on 1 July. Summary information on the bids will be available later in the month.
The allocation of funding each successful proposal will receive will be the minimum amount the proposal needs to get off the ground. Each bid must also demonstrate it is bringing in private sources of funding as well. The public investment in the first 50 successful bids is expected to secure a further £2.5 billion of private investment.
Bids are considered by an Independent Advisory Board, which makes recommendations to ministers. Lord Heseltine, chair of the board, and the deputy chair Sir Ian Wrigglesworth, attended a series of road shows held across the country to encourage bids, and to address any queries or issues.
Notes to editors:
The PWGF has been allocated £1million from the RGF and aims to allocate grants of £10,000 - £100,000 to around 30 businesses.
In April we announced the 50 successful bidders in the first round and published summary details of the proposals. Further details of these bids will not be available until they have completed the due diligence process and funding has been agreed.
The details of the bids received in the second round are commercially sensitive and we will not release details of these bids. Summary details will be published at the end of the month, and successful bids are expected in the autumn.
For more information on the Regional Growth Fund, including summary details of bids in the first round (total number, collective value etc) please visit: http://www.bis.gov.uk/policies/regional-economic-development/regional-growth-fund
Business Secretary Vince Cable is visiting the south west on Thursday 21 July. While in the south west he visited south Devon College, Augusta Westland and the Met Office. For more details on these aspects of his visit, please contact the BIS press office on 020 7215 3496.
BIS’s online newsroom contains the latest press notices, speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See http://www.bis.gov.uk/newsroom for more information.
Notes to Editors
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