New Regional Growth Fund dedicates £450m in investment

Over 100,000 employees could benefit from £450m RGF investment


More than £450m has been dedicated to 50 separate projects in the first round of the government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF), which could see over 100,000 workers benefit from new or more secure employment.

The closure of the first round of the RGF project was announced by the deputy prime minister Nick Clegg today, with the beneficiaries including commercial and industrial premises across the country.

The government expects the new projects to influence £2.5bn of private sector investment, and says that 27,000 jobs will be directly made or safeguarded.

The 50 chosen projects include the construction of a new biomedical hub in Manchester, the creation of a manufacturing plant on Teeside and the development of a new silver powder production facility on Merseyside.

According to the scheme’s proponents, an extra 100,000 jobs will be created or protected in surrounding supply chains as a result of the RGF schemes.

Clegg said he was “bowled over by the quality of the bids,” and that the first raft of projects will chiefly benefit “the communities worst hit by the economic downturn.”   The second funding round launches today, and the government plans to put the remainder of the fund – around £1bn – into this phase.

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