The LEP welcomes the announcement (11 July) by the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, confirming Regional Growth Funding (RGF) for three Worcestershire schemes. They are among 102 projects nationwide that have received backing in this fourth round of RGF awards.
Support has been given to the Worcestershire Expansion Scheme to assist private companies with their plans for growth, including capital investment, training and research and development. The specific level of funding awarded to the Scheme will be confirmed following a due diligence process.
Gary Woodman, Executive Director of the WLEP, comments: “At the LEP, we have been working with a number of SMEs who have opportunities to grow and create jobs, but need support and access to capital to pursue private sector growth. This new funding, which will be administered by Worcestershire County Council, is very welcome as it means that those Worcestershire companies who cannot meet the minimum £1 million threshold required to apply directly to the RGF have an opportunity to bid for locally managed funds.”
The Deputy Prime Minster also announced the award of £1.5 million over two years to The Marches and Worcestershire Redundant Building Grant Programme. This will give financial assistance to bring unused buildings back to productive economic use. It is estimated that nearly 50 businesses will benefit, creating 220 direct and 110 indirect jobs.
High-tech firm, Malvern Instruments, will also benefit from funding. This will be used to invest in a new Research and Development team and manufacturing facilities. The money will enable the firm to target the Nano Materials and Bioscience markets, creating new jobs and safeguarding existing at their Enigma Business Park site in Malvern. The new jobs will be highly technical, providing opportunities for PhD and graduate engineers and scientists from across the UK. Investment will also be made in the firm’s apprenticeship programme and in work with local schools.
Gary Woodman continues: “By awarding Worcestershire this funding, the Government is supporting the LEP’s vision for the county. Our plans to establish Worcestershire as the ideal place for businesses to invest and grow have been helped significantly and the funding will assist in securing economic prosperity for the future.”
Announcing the awards, Nick Clegg said: “There are more people in work today than ever before – since 2010 we have helped create 1.3 million jobs in the private sector. That’s what the Regional Growth Fund is all about – and I’m extremely proud to have found extra money to invest in projects across the country that have plans for the future and want to recruit local talent that will make their businesses better.”