Regional Growth Fund opens fifth round of funding

Nick Clegg urges “high quality” businesses to prepare applications for latest tranche of £3.2bn fund

The Regional Growth Fund will open its fifth round of funding next month inviting “high quality” businesses to bid for a slice of its £3.2bn pot, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has announced.

Launched in 2011 by Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the government-backed scheme looks to support economic growth in local areas and support the creation of jobs by encouraging small businesses which are struggling to secure finance through other means.

Its fifth round will concentrate on private enterprise proposals with a minimum £1m bid and bidders can submit projects, packages of projects or programmes; any raft of initiatives that are likely to generate private sector investment and boost the UK economy.

Clegg urged UK small and medium-sized businesses looking to raise finance to begin preparing bids for the October 11 opening issuing a statement saying he would “encourage all companies to look carefully at how the Fund can help you grow, and get ready to apply.”

He added: “The Regional Growth Fund has been a success, helping to create thousands of jobs. Britain is returning to long term growth, but we want to see business booming.”

The announcement follows the success of the Regional Growth Fund so far as its first three rounds are already delivering with £2m awarded over 300 projects and programmes.

Its fourth round is still open for applications with bids accepted from as little as £5,000 in certain areas.

Business minister Michael Fallon discussed the Fund: “The Regional Growth Fund is playing a pivotal role in supporting business and enterprise. The next round will help keep the momentum going and complement the long-term approach of our industrial strategy – helping us to invest in and support key sectors.”

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