Press release

Two weeks left to apply for Regional Growth Funding

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Government and industry are urging businesses to apply for a share of £300 million from the Regional Growth Fund before the deadline.

Government and industry are today (25 November 2013) urging businesses to apply for a share of £300 million from the Regional Growth Fund before the deadline at midday on Monday, 9 December 2013.

Round 5 of the Regional Growth Fund builds on the success of the first 4 rounds of the £3.2 billion fund. So far over 400 quality projects and programmes are being supported across the country which will create thousands of jobs.

Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg said:

The Regional Growth Fund is a helping hand from government to boost the economy and secure thousands of jobs.

I’ve visited a number of projects across the country and seen first hand how the fund is supporting businesses that are working hard to fuel our recovery and help us build a stronger economy.

I would encourage any businesses that can generate significant private sector investment and sustainable jobs to bid for a share of the £300 million available from the fund, which closes on December 9.

Since the launch of the Regional Growth Fund in May 2010, the fund has supported many different sectors – including automotive, aerospace and offshore wind – to help rebalance the economy and boost economic growth.

Later today (25 November 2013) Business Secretary Vince Cable will visit British car maker Lotus in East Anglia to announce £10 million award from the Regional Growth Fund. The award will help create more than 300 new jobs, support research and development activities and train existing personnel.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

Lotus is an iconic British car maker, with some of the most innovative engineers in the business. The car industry is one of Britain’s great success stories, employing over 130,000 people and helping to build a stronger economy by contributing £11 billion a year. The government’s industrial strategy is working and giving business the confidence to invest, creating more high skilled, long term jobs in the UK.

I am pleased to announce today (25 November 2013) that our flagship economic plan to create jobs outside of London - the Regional Growth Fund - is awarding Lotus a £10 million grant which will help them develop their next generation of cars and create over 300 new jobs in East Anglia.

The government has already supported over 400 projects with £2.6 billion from the Regional Growth Fund, promoting growth in regions across England. The latest round is still open for another 2 weeks and I’d urge all businesses with a plan to support jobs in their local areas to apply.

Business Minister Michael Fallon said:

Thanks to the Regional Growth Fund, many companies and SMEs are producing more, exporting more or hiring more skilled workers. To date we have already supported over 3,200 SMEs and £1 billion has been made available to SMEs through existing programmes.

Whether it’s a £1.2 million grant to help modernise Skanska’s UK piling and foundation business in Doncaster or a £2.2 million grant for Magma Global in Portsmouth to help expand their production of carbon fibre pipes and create 100 jobs – the Regional Growth Fund is playing a pivotal role in supporting business and enterprise.

I do not want other firms to miss out on this huge opportunity, so log onto the website and see how you can bid for the £300 million available.

Terry Scuoler, Chief Executive Officer, EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation said:

There have been many examples of manufacturers making strategic investment decisions to grow their businesses with the support of the Regional Growth Fund since its inception. With advance notice that the final round will take place next summer manufacturers have an opportunity to see how support from the Regional Growth Fund could strengthen their business plans and help to secure orders in the future.

The Regional Growth Fund has already held over 15 regional expression of interest events since Round 5 opened in October 2013 to offer guidance and support to firms who are interested in applying. These have been attended with strong interest by over 200 potential applicants.

Round 6 of the Regional Growth Fund will be launched in the summer of 2014 - so any companies who will not be ready to apply by December can start planning for applications in 2014.

Notes to editors:

  1. The Regional Growth Fund (RGF) is a flexible and competitive £3.2 billion fund operating across England from 2011 to 2017. It supports projects and programmes that are using private sector investment to create economic growth and sustainable employment.

  2. Round 5 of the Regional Growth Fund opened on October 11 and closes to applications on 9 December 2013 at noon. Bids will be appraised as quickly as possible.

  3. Applicants should be aware of expected changes to the EU State aid regime from the end of June 2014. This will not have an impact on applications to Round 5 but may have an impact for Round 6. You can find out more information at https://www.gov.uk/state-aid.

  4. To keep up to date on further RGF developments please follow us on Twitter: @RGFGrowthFund

  5. While Round 5 requires minimum bids of £1 million, small and medium sized businesses should be aware that there are still funds available from existing Regional Growth Fund programmes which are still open for business. These schemes will have minimum bids from as little as £5,000 in some areas, and up to £1 million in others.

  6. Businesses can find out more by visiting www.gov.uk/regional-growth-fund-a-guide-for-small-and-medium-enterprises-smes or www.findyourrgf.com.

  7. The Regional Growth Fund delivers value for money. For every £1 of public money put in by the government, the private sector puts in approximately £5.50 to boost economic growth and rebalance the ecoomy.

  8. Earlier in November government launched a public campaign to celebrate GREAT British success stories to inspire other small businesses and point them towards the support that can help them start and grow a business. It will also reaffirm its commitment to small business in December which will set out a range of measures to continue helping budding entrepreneurs and existing businesses succeed. More details can be found at www.greatbusiness.gov.uk/.

  9. The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set 4 ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’, published at Budget 2011:

  • to create the most competitive tax system in the G20
  • to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
  • to encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
  • to create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe

Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.