Worcestershire businesses are being urged to act quickly to bid for the new round of Regional Growth Fund (RGF) cash.
Bidding for the £350 million cash pot opened today (Thursday, January 17) and Peter Pawsey, chairman of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (WLEP) said RGF money could play a major part in driving enterprise in the county.
“Across the UK the fund has already helped 180 projects get started, creating and safeguarding local jobs and attracting significant private sector investment.
“The Regional Growth Fund aims to help rebalance the economy by investing in companies that can create jobs and attract substantial match funding from the private sector. For every £1 of Government money, the private sector is putting in £6.”
Round 4 of the RGF bidding process will close to applications on Wednesday, March 20, at 12 noon.
Special “expressions of interest” events are being held around the country, with the West Midlands event in Birmingham on Wednesday, February 6.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “The Regional Growth Fund is already proving a shrewd investment by providing a welcome boost to jobs and growth across the country, with thousands of jobs created, businesses expanding into new markets and manufacturing new products.
“With this next round of bidding, I would urge England’s budding businesses to produce top quality bids to access the money that can help them grow.”
Peter Pawsey said: “It is vital for the future prosperity of Worcestershire that county businesses who are interested in RGF react quickly to ensure that we win as much of this valuable boost to enterprise as possible.
“If you think your business could benefit from RGF, I urge you to act quickly.”
The Regional Growth Fund is a £2.6 billion fund operating across England from 2011 to 2016. It supports projects and programmes that lever private sector investment to create economic growth and sustainable employment.
The Government estimates that the first three rounds will leverage over £13 billion of private sector investment and create or safeguard over 500,000 jobs.