Nick Clegg unveils £1 billion of new Regional Growth Fund capital

The third round of the government's Regional Growth Fund (RGF) will see £1 billion of public money be supplemented by £6 billion of private sector investment, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg says.


The third round of the government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) will see £1 billion of public money be supplemented by £6 billion of private sector investment, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg says.

Manufacturing firms, small businesses and local partnerships are set to gain from the latest instalment of the RGF, which closed its application process in June.

Clegg has unveiled a third tranche of the fund which he says will use £1 billion of government capital to encourage £6 billion of private sector additions.

Some 130 preferred bidders are set to receive capital from the lump sum, a group which began as 414 applications before being whittled down by the Independent Advisory Panel chaired by Lord Heseltine over the summer.

Under the terms of the initiative, some £657 million of the £1.05 million pot, which includes £55 million re-used from rounds one and two, will go to the private sector including 101 companies.

The remaining £358 million will be divvied out to 29 intermediaries including local authorities and enterprise partnerships.

Back in June, GrowthBusiness reported that 409 UK businesses had collectively bid for £2.68 billion of funding, with £1 billion available.

The first found of the fund attracted 464 bids for a total of £2.78 billion while the next process saw 492 applications for £3.3 billion.

‘This £1 billion boost for growth in towns and cities across England is creating jobs that will last in the parts of the country that need it most,’ Clegg says.

‘In tough economic times the Regional Growth Fund is good value for taxpayers’ money – this £1 billion round of the fund is pulling in £6 billion of private sector investment.’

As part of the third round, the University of Wolverhampton has secured £1.4 million to enable regional businesses to grow and support jobs.

Its Express and Star Green Shoots Fund will reportedly fund 50 small to medium sized enterprises in the Black County and create a minimum of 75 jobs.

Ian Oakes, pro vice-chancellor research and enterprise at the University, comments, ‘The University of Wolverhampton is based in heartlands of the industrial revolution, and the region has a long history in manufacturing.

‘The Black County is striving to reinvigorate itself after many years of industrial decline and the University is central to driving growth through innovation and graduate skills.’

Another to receive growth capital is Liverpool-based Redx Pharma. The pharmaceutical company has netted £4.7 million for research into drugs against microbial infection, influenza, hepatitis C and HIV, creating an expected 119 jobs over five years.

Speaking on the new allocation, business secretary Vince Cable adds, ‘Redx Pharma’s previous award of £5.6 million in round two has already helped them establish an impressive oncology research centre and has created 50 new jobs since April this year.’

The full list of the second round recipients can be seen here.

Hunter Ruthven

Bernard Williamson

Hunter was the Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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