Over 100,000 new jobs will be created and safeguarded under government plans to invest £450 million in businesses across England.
The first round of the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) will see an expanded amount of public investment support 50 bids by companies and partnerships who demonstrated how they would create jobs and a high level of private sector-led sustainable economic growth in their local communities over the coming years.
The Government expects over 27,000 jobs to be directly created and safeguarded, with close to a further 100,000 jobs in associated supply chains and local economies.
The £450m being invested by the Government through the first round of the RGF is expected to leverage more than £2.5bn of private sector investment.
The RGF is a £1.4bn fund which is designed to encourage enterprise, growth and jobs in the private sector and support areas and communities that are dependent on the public sector.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:
I am delighted to announce the first successful bids for the Regional Growth Fund. I was bowled over by the quality of the bids. This money will now help create and safeguard jobs in some of the communities worst hit by the economic downturn.
Today is a step towards rebalancing our economy away from an unhealthy overreliance on a small number of industries and a few areas. We need to spread opportunity across the whole country, drawing on our many talents. I know that with the right support these businesses can work with their communities and together play their part in leading the country back into prosperity.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said:
Supporting job creation in the regions is vital if we are to drive growth in our local communities.
We have received a large number of ambitious and highly competitive bids to this first round of the Regional Growth Fund, which will help a number of businesses across the country to expand and create thousands of new jobs.
The Regional Growth Fund is a competitive fund and we wanted to see proposals that created jobs in the private sector, in areas of deprivation and that is at risk of suffering from public sector cuts. I’m confident that the successful bids we have chosen will deliver on this.
The second round of the Regional Growth Fund opens to bids on Tuesday April 12 and will aim to allocate the remainder of the fund - nearly £1bn.