Belfast Telegraph

Fund bids to create 500,000 jobs

By Alan Jones

A government fund aimed at boosting economic growth in England's regions will help create around half a million jobs over the next few years, the Government said.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the £2.4bn Regional Growth Fund will be open for two further rounds of bidding from next February.

The fund was launched a year ago and has allocated £1.4bn to 50 projects in the first round of bidding, with more set to be financed through a second round.

Mr Clegg said the extra funding announced in last week's Autumn Statement will help the fund create an estimated half a million jobs before the end of the Parliament.

"The Regional Growth Fund is unlocking private sector investment, with at least £5 put in for every £1 of public money," he said. "The fund is already helping the economy grow in every region and across a range of industries."

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "This fund is helping businesses across the country to create jobs - giving them the support they need to turn new ideas into actions that will drive their growth and future success."