Policy

Boosting private sector employment in England

Issue

Certain parts of the country are too dependent on the public sector for employment. The government wants to increase the number of lasting, private sector jobs by supporting the private sector to expand and ensuring that government cash delivers jobs.

Actions

We’re funding projects that have the potential to create or protect long-term jobs in the private sector, and programmes where partner organisations choose smaller projects to support, which will deliver sustainable jobs.

Regional Growth Fund

The Regional Growth Fund (RGF) is a flexible and competitive £3.2 billion fund operating across England from 2011 to 2017 and creating jobs into the mid-2020s.

The projects we choose must attract private funding to match the public funding we provide, and the projects that programmes choose to support must also include investment of private money. We provide grants, loans and loan guarantees.

The RGF is a competitive fund. This means that in order to get our support, businesses must explain how much money they need and what they will use it for.

Bids are then considered by an expert panel who recommend to ministers which bids to support. Ministers then choose the bids that they believe will give the best value for money to the taxpayer.

This is a cross-government fund and is jointly administered by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Communities and Local Government.

For details of how to apply and further general information on the fund, see Regional Growth Fund for large businesses.

Background

Round 5

Round 5 opened on 17 October 2013 and closed for bids on 9 December 2013. £300 million is available. 133 bids were received, for a total of £650 million, continuing the trend of huge demand for funds. Decisions on which bids will be taken forward will be announced in spring 2014.

Round 6

Round 6 will open in summer 2014.

Rounds 1 to 4

Rounds 1 to 4 have supported 400 awards (subject to the completion of contracts for round 4) totalling £2.6 billion of RGF and £14.7 billion of private sector investment, delivering 550,000 jobs.

Process

Organisations have the opportunity to apply for a minimum of £1 million funding. Projects are assessed on:

  • location
  • value for money for taxpayers
  • ability to create jobs in the private sector
  • project management expertise
  • state aid rules

Projects have to comply with the EU’s rules on state aid to make sure any funding does not give a company an unfair competitive advantage.

See Regional Growth Fund due diligence, which explains who is eligible to be a due diligence provider, to prepare a confirmatory due diligence report for RGF bids, and provides the declaration form for due diligence providers.

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