Under the first round of the Regional Growth Fund, 50 bids by companies and partnerships to promote economic growth and create new jobs will be given financial support totalling £450 million from the Regional Growth Fund. The Government expects the £450m to lever in around £2.5bn of private sector investment.
14 organisations in the North East were awarded more than £50mof this.
Business Secretary Vince Cable told the Journal that 5,216 direct jobs and 8,367 indirect jobs would be created and safeguarded by the awards.
The North East saw the highest number of awards – including Durham County Cricket Club, Nissan, Procter & Gamble, and Redcar steel works.
Sir Ian Wrigglesworth, deputy chairman of the Regional Growth Fund panel advising , said the growth fund awards would draw in an additional £442m of private sector investment and other sources of funding into the North east economy.
Not everyone is celebrating, however. Across the region, 69 firms and councils put in bids worth £339m, with just 14 bids attracting funding. A notable exception was Newcastle’s Science City.
To put the Regional Growth fund into context. The Government is allocating £1.4bn over three years to projects, aimed at boosting economic regeneration. This is two thirds less than the £1.4bn a year that the previous Government invested in Regional Development Agencies.
We need to look at the successful bids in the North East to establish whether Third Sector Organisations are likely to see any share of that funding. With no seat on either of the LEP Boards in the region, the sectors ability to influence economic development has been weakened.
The second and possibly final round of the Regional Growth Fund opens today
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