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UK’s Regional Growth Fund gets £1bn injection

The UK government confirmed today that it has allocated GBP1bn to support the growth of businesses across England.

This is the third round of the Regional Growth Fund scheme and the public money, together with GBP6bn of private sector investment, will be invested in around 130 projects.

These projects were selected from an initial 414 applications through a competitive process.

While much of the money will support small and medium sized businesses, part of the funding will be used to safeguard jobs at more established firms such as Jaguar, General Motors and Dyson, Management Today reported.

Announcing the latest funding, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said that it would help to create jobs in parts of the country that need it most.

The investment is intended to help manufacturing firms, small businesses and local partnerships in England to expand their operations, take on more staff and stimulate economic growth.

EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, welcomed the announcement but its director of policy, Steve Radley, urged the government to ensure that the funds reach businesses much faster than in previous rounds.

This was echoed by John Longworth, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, who pointed out that many Regional Growth Fund projects had been delayed by “bureaucratic hurdles”.

The scheme was also previously criticised by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, which stated in a report that it was “highly disappointed to find that so few final approvals had been given and so few projects had actually started”.


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