RGF shows positive results for UK

Friday 2 January 2015

The latest figures on the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) show positive results for businesses and workers across the country.

Since its introduction by deputy prime minister Nick Clegg in 2010, the RGF has now supported 8,000 companies to grow across the UK. This has been made possible through a series of 400 programmes and projects. On top of that, a further 100,000 jobs have been created and safeguarded, while more than £1 billion has been distributed across the country.

Among the people who may have benefitted from the RGF are those who have been setting up a business or working as limited company contractors.

Mr Clegg has confirmed the number of projects that are underway to date because of the RGF. There are 94 projects in the north east, 73 in the north west, 48 in Yorkshire and the Humber, 28 in the south east and London, 36 in the south west, 61 in the west midlands, 11 in the east, 25 in the east midlands and 25 that have a nationwide scope.

There is still more to come too as the selected bids for round six of the RGF will be unveiled during 2015. More than £200 million has been made available to bidders as part of this round of the RGF and a total of 174 bids have been received by government.

Speaking about the progress of the RGF so far, Mr Clegg said: "It is great news that the Regional Growth Fund has now reached the landmark of supporting its 8,000th company. This innovative fund is helping companies to invest, expand and to create sustainable jobs in the local community.

"Rebalancing the economy and boosting regional growth has been a top priority for me in Government. It is a key part of building a stronger economy and fairer society. The success of the Regional Growth Fund is a shining example of how government can help regional businesses realise their own goals and plan for a prosperous future."

The RGF has made awards directly to larger businesses but the government says it has also supported a number of small and medium-sized enterprises. To help support these groups, local partners including Chambers of Commerce, universities and Local Enterprise Partnerships have been running programmes that target the small businesses that have the most potential.

A total of £3.2 billion has been allocated to support the RGF with a view to supporting eligible projects and programmes that help to raise investment in the private sector and also create economic growth and lasting employment. Those who are successful in their bid for the RGF must draw down their grants between 2011 and 2017.

So far, £2.9 billion of support from the RGF has been allocated and the government hopes that 573,000 jobs and £116 billion of private investment will be delivered as a result of this between now and the mid-2020s.

In total, businesses have drawn down £1 billion of the money that has been allocated as part of the RGF.

By Victoria McDonnell

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