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Clegg reveals £1bn jobs fund boost

An extra £1 billion is being made available to businesses seeking support to create new jobs, the Government has announced.

The money is part of the Regional Growth Fund, which now totals £2.4 billion, which is attracting a growing number of companies trying to access cash.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said there had been more than 170 successful bids to the fund, leveraging around £7.5 billion of private sector investment and set to create and protect 330,000 jobs.

He said at a manufacturing summit at the Bristol & Bath Science Park: "I want to see more businesses that are confident they can create jobs and get Britain building and making things again, coming forward, making sure their hats are in the ring.

"Funding from rounds one and two has gone to some extraordinarily promising manufacturing projects. From Pirelli Tyres in Carlisle who'll use the money to develop a new range of carbon-cutting tyres to a Portsmouth-based company which hopes to use theirs to create a cutting-edge boat building college.

"These are the kinds of projects that will lead their communities into brighter times, helping put industry at the heart of the UK's economy. Businesses have until June to apply for a share of this extra £1 billion."

Business Secretary Vince Cable, who will open GKN Aerospace's new £150 million manufacturing centre in Bristol, added: "The Regional Growth Fund is starting to make excellent progress. The additional £1 billion in the fund will help us maintain momentum around supporting even more businesses and encouraging the creation of new jobs.

"Many of the successful projects from rounds one and two were manufacturers and the sector remains one of our national success stories. Manufacturing lies right at the heart of the Government's strategy for economic recovery and growth."

Gordon Marsden, shadow minister for further education, skills and regional growth, said: "The Regional Growth Fund remains mired in continuing chaos and incompetence, with over 40% of winning first round bidders still waiting for their cash more than 10 months after their winning bids were first confirmed, while only one successful bidder from its second round has so far received any funding. Across the country, the fund has created far more losers than winners.

"Before boasting about new rounds of the growth fund, the Government needs to get a grip and sort out the delays which have plagued this progress."


From Belfast Telegraph