North West tops bids for Regional Growth Fund

Total value of first round growth fund bids reaches £2.78bn

The majority of bids to the Regional Growth Fund came from businesses in the North West of England, according to statistics published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

The £1.4bn fund is designed to encourage enterprise, growth and jobs in the private sector and to support regions that are dependent on the public sector. A total of 89 bids were submitted to the fund from the North West, out of a total of 464.

The data released last week also shows that most of the bids were between £1m and £5m, while the total value of first round bids was £2.78bn.

Once the Independent Advisory Panel, chaired by Lord Heseltine, has assessed the bids, they will advise a panel of ministers, chaired by deputy prime minister Nick Clegg.

Commenting on the figures, Lord Heseltine said: “The regional breakdown of the number of bids sent in to the fund provides a useful insight into the economic priorities of the areas and which regions believe they will benefit the most from extra government support.

“It is our task now to extract those bids that are going to make a real difference to boosting private sector jobs and local growth. The level of response to the Regional Growth Fund suggests it’s not going to be an easy task.”

The Regional Growth Fund will run for three years and there will be a second round later this year, for which dates will be released shortly by BIS.

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