The number of small and medium-sized enterprises supported through the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) has trebled over the past year (2013 to 2014) to 5,100 – helping growing businesses to create highly skilled jobs and expand into new markets.
The scheme’s annual monitoring report, published today (22 July 2014), also found the number of direct jobs created or safeguarded through RGF more than doubled in a year, delivering 69,000 jobs.
Total RGF payments rose by 83% from the previous year to £1.15 billion. RGF payments in 2013 to 2014 totalled £565 million, compared to £161 million in the previous financial year.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said:
The Regional Growth Fund is now in full swing. Over the last year alone it has more than doubled in size. The fund is securing the jobs it set out to – 69,000 direct jobs at the end of the last financial year and every one of them outside London. This combined with the Growth Deals we announced earlier this month is ensuring that our economy grows in a balanced way, with all our regions benefitting from the upturn.
RGF is making a big difference to local communities and Britain’s economy through supporting businesses of all sizes and sectors. This includes Nissan increasing its Sunderland operation to produce the new Infiniti model car and Mulberry doubling its production with a second factory opening in the South West. In Yorkshire, Skanska is demonstrating its green construction expertise by developing its first energy neutral industrial site in the UK. In the West Midlands, the 130-year-old engineering company Goodwin PLC is expanding into a new facility while creating job and apprenticeship opportunities.
Round 6 of the RGF is currently open to private sector bidders seeking £1 million or more. The government is calling on companies to plan high quality projects that will generate significant private sector investment and sustainable jobs. Businesses should submit their bids by noon on 30 September 2014.
Notes to editors
- The Regional Growth Fund is a flexible and competitive fund operating across England. It supports projects and programmes that are using private sector investment to create economic growth and sustainable employment.
- This is the second RGF annual monitoring report. The commitment to publish these was made in response to the first PAC hearing on the RGF in 2012.
- The report covers delivery in rounds 1 and 2 (for which 2013 to 2014 was the second full operational year) and round 3 (for which it was the first year). Round 4 is out of scope as offers were finalised in Quarter 4 of 2013 to 2014, with first payments to follow this year in most cases (a very small number of payments were technically made in 2013 to 2014).
- The report focuses on progress against the key outputs of the Fund, up to 31 March 2014.
- For more information about Round 6 of the RGF, visit Regional Growth Fund or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Applicants should be aware of the EU state aid changes which took effect on 1 July 2014.
- To keep up to date on further RGF developments please follow us on Twitter: @RGFGrowthFund
- If your business is a small or medium sized business looking for less than £1 million or if it is not eligible for the Regional Growth Fund, there are plenty of other government backed finance options available. You can search the range of government finance schemes at Finance and support for your business and for information on other financing options, visit Finance for growth: peer to business lending
- The government is introducing legislation to help make the UK the most attractive place to start, finance and grow a business. The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill will help to build a stronger and fairer economy by supporting small businesses as they compete. It will foster and back the entrepreneurial spirit and build on the UK’s reputation as a fair and trusted place to do business.