Round 5 of the Regional Growth Fund now open. Bid for share of £300 million

A new round of the Regional Growth Fund opened 11th October as the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg called on businesses across the country to bid for a share of the £300 million cash pot.

The Deputy Prime Minister praised ‘home grown and British-based businesses’ for their crucial role in Britain’s economic recovery.

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.

Round 5 will be open to private sector bidders seeking £1 million or more. The government is calling for companies planning high quality projects that will generate significant private sector investment and sustainable jobs. Businesses will be able to submit their bids until noon on 9 December.

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.

“The economic recovery is starting to bloom – we’re seeing very encouraging signs that we are turning a crucial corner on our road to recovery. Home-grown and British-based businesses are leading that charge for a stronger economy. The Regional Growth Fund is a helping hand from the government, but I pay tribute to the people who are working hard to fuel our recovery.

“My message to businesses in every region is clear – if you’ve got a project that needs a boost, bid for cash from the Regional Growth Fund.”

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

  • 11 Oct – Newcastle, North East (launch event)
  • 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 Minister Michael Fallon said:

“Round 5 requires minimum bids of £1 million but smaller bids are also supported by the fund through programmes. That is why I am making sure that local and national programmes are available to small to medium-sized businesses from as little as £5,000 in some areas all the way up to £1 million. Since the Fund started, over 3,000 grants have been given to SMEs through programmes.

“We expect there will be stiff competition, so companies should take time over their application and demonstrate the benefits that support will bring. We want more businesses to benefit so that they can achieve their ambitions.”

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

Further information

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. Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) will no longer be required to make separate bids to the Regional Growth Fund. In September 2013, BIS announced it will be making available an extra £100m for the Local Growth Fund in the period 2015-2017. This will provide extra flexibility to support priorities that LEPs will identify in their Strategic Economic Plans.

5. 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.

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