Nick Clegg launches £300m regional growth fund for companies with big projects

The latest round of the government’s Regional Growth Fund has opened this week, with the deputy prime minister Nick Clegg calling on companies based outside London to apply for a slice of the £300 million cash pot.

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The latest round of the government’s Regional Growth Fund has opened this week, with the deputy prime minister Nick Clegg calling on companies based outside London to apply for a slice of the £300 million cash pot.

So far £2.6 billion from the first four rounds of the fund has been handed to “home grown and British-based businesses”, which has supported over 400 projects and programmes.

For the fifth round the government is looking for companies that need more than £1 million to fund “high quality projects that will generate significant private sector investment and sustainable jobs”.

Supporting the growth of British-based companies, in particular SMEs, has been a key priority for the coalition government. This has largely been focused around the tech cluster in London’s Tech City, but the regional growth fund aims to extend this outside of the capital.

“This fund has so far helped over 400 projects and over 3,000 SMEs across the country to boost our economy - expanding, improving, innovating and helping secure our economic recovery,” said Clegg.

“The economic recovery is starting to bloom – we’re seeing very encouraging signs that we are turning a crucial corner on our road to recovery. Home-grown and British-based businesses are leading that charge for a stronger economy. The Regional Growth Fund is a helping hand from the government, but I pay tribute to the people who are working hard to fuel our recovery.”

He said: “My message to businesses in every region is clear - if you’ve got a project that needs a boost, bid for cash from the Regional Growth Fund.”

Businesses will be able to submit their bids until noon, 9 December.