Tuesday, 25 January 2011 20:44

Hundreds apply for regional funding

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Hundreds apply for regional funding

THE government has received almost 450 bids during the first round of its Regional Growth Fund.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills released the figures on Tuesday (25 January).

The fund is designed to encourage enterprise, growth and jobs in the private sector. The aim is to support regions that are dependent on the public sector.

Bids will now be assessed by an independent advisory panel, chaired by Lord Heseltine. Once the panel has assessed the bids, they will advise a panel of ministers chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

Mr Clegg said" "It is vital to support growth across the country by decentralising power to local areas to promote growth, and investing to support the transition to private sector recovery.

"There are clearly lots of good ideas out there on how to create jobs and growth and I look forward to reviewing the bids we have received – nearly 450 – for the first round of the Regional Growth Fund."

Further information about the fund is available by clicking here.

The government believes that the response to the fund shows how innovative and enterprising people can be when they are not given a strict set of criteria to adhere to.

Lord Heseltine said: "We purposely did not tell them what the bids should look like, only highlighted the issues they need to address."

Each bid will now be assessed before the panel decides which proposals it believes will have a role in boosting the private sector and helping areas adversely affected by public sector cuts.

Private sector organisations and public-private sector partnerships were invited to bid for a share of the £1.4bn fund. They were asked to submit bids that are match-funded.

Successful bids will be those that create sustainable jobs in areas of deprivation and areas that are dependent on jobs in the public sector.

The Regional Growth Fund will run for three years and there will be a second round this year.

Dates for the second round will be announced by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills shortly.

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