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Top firms to get growth cash boost

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has named two household brand names among firms set to benefit from the Government's Regional Growth Fund.

On a visit to the north west, Mr Clegg announced that 35 bids from the region have received provisional approval for support from the £2.4 billion fund.

The cash - whose recipients will include haulage giant Stobart and glass maker Pilkington - would help create and protect 13,000 jobs directly and 41,000 more in the firms' supply chains.

Mr Clegg said an additional £1 billion injection to the fund announced in Chancellor George Osborne's Autumn Statement would help create half a million jobs.

With the first £1.4 billion already allocated, he said there will be at least two further rounds of bidding for cash. The next round will open in February.

Stobart is to receive £9 million of Government funding towards a £139 million expansion of its Widnes site, which is hoped to create 3,450 jobs at the company itself and 1,276 indirectly.

And Pilkington Glass of St Helens will get £5 million as part of a £33 million investment in new production techniques to produce glass that is more competitive in the European market.

It is hoped that will create 254 jobs directly and 209 indirectly.

Mr Clegg said: "Creating long-term jobs and long-term growth is our number one priority for Britain.

"For too long, the UK economy has been too focused on the City of London and all too often this has been at the expense of places like Widnes and St Helens in the North West."


From Belfast Telegraph