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16 Oct 2013

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg calls on businesses across the country to bid for a share of the £300 million cash pot.

So far £2.6 billion from the first four rounds of the Regional Growth Fund has supported over 400 projects and programmes, which will create and safeguard hundreds of thousands of jobs over the long-term and stimulate £14.7 billion of private sector investment.

The Government is, in Round 5, calling for companies seeking £1 million or more, which are planning high quality projects that will generate significant private sector investment and sustainable jobs.

Businesses have until noon on 9 December to submit their bids.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:
“This fund has so far helped over 400 projects and over 3,000 SMEs across the country to boost our economy - expanding, improving, innovating and helping secure our economic recovery. My message to businesses is clear - if you have a project that needs a boost, bid for cash from the Regional Growth Fund.”

DUCO Ltd in Walker, Newcastle, is using its £3.6million award cash to create 168 jobs and safeguard 191 posts and to expand its R&D facility and develop a new manufacturing plant which will produce enormous steel tube cables

Responsive Engineering in Team Valley were awarded £654,000 from the Fund in Round 2, as part of the Let’s Grow Package of projects, to invest in new plant and machinery to expand the company’s engineering capability. This has created 82 full time permanent jobs. The investment means the company can keep ahead of the competition with new highly efficient machinery to precisely cut and weld metal parts for their clients in the oil and gas industry.

To help bidders with their applications, road shows and expression of interest days will be held throughout the country to provide advice on how to make a successful bid. These will be in the following locations:

14 Oct - Loughborough, East Midlands
25 Oct - Huddersfield, Yorkshire and Humber
05 Nov - Plymouth, South West
13 Nov - Liverpool, North West
14 Nov - Birmingham, West Midlands

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "The Regional Growth Fund is a key part of our plan for growth, helping to create new jobs outside London and mobilising over £5 of private sector investment for every £1 government puts in”

Business Minister Michael Fallon said: “Round 5 requires minimum bids of £1 million but smaller bids are also supported by the fund through programmes, see below. Local and national programmes are available to SMEs from as little as £5,000 all the way up to £1 million.”

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

Explanatory Notes

1. 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.

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

3. For more information, and further details of the expression of interest events in your areas please go to www.gov.uk/understanding-the-regional-growth-fund or email growthfund@bis.gsi.gov.uk

4. LEPs still have an important role to play in RGF Round 5 by supporting or endorsing private sector bids they feel will help them achieve their priorities for economic growth as well as delivering existing programmes.

5. 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.

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

7. Businesses can find out about their local programmes by visiting RGF for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs): approved programmes. These programmes typically have a lower minimum bid threshold more applicable for SMEs.

8. If your business is not eligible for the Regional Growth Fund, there are plenty of other government backed finance options available. More details can be found at www.greatbusiness.gov.uk/financing-a-business

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