MINISTER LAUNCHES £200M REGIONAL GROWTH POT TO SUPPORT BUSINESSES
NORTH West businesses can
bid for a share of £200 million, the Deputy Prime Minister will
announce, as he launches round 6 of the Regional Growth Fund (RGF).
The Government is already investing £460 million from the first 5
rounds of the Regional Growth Fund in the North West, which is
supporting 84 projects and programmes across the region, to create
and safeguard thousands of jobs and stimulate £2.5 billion of
private sector investment.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:- "The Regional Growth
Fund is a helping hand from Government to create thousands of jobs
that last, boost the private sector and rebalance the economy.
I've seen first hand at electrical cable manufacturer Tratos Limited
in Merseyside how the fund is supporting businesses that are working
hard to fuel our recovery and help us build a stronger economy.
I would encourage any businesses that can generate significant
private sector investment and sustainable jobs to bid for a share of
the £200 million available from the fund."
Round 6 will be open to private sector bidders seeking £1 million or
more. The Government is calling on companies to plan high quality
projects that will generate significant private sector investment
and sustainable jobs. Businesses will be able to submit their bids
until noon on 30 September 2014.
Companies in the North West that have
already had support from the RGF include:-
Tratos Limited, a UK cable manufacturing business, used their RGF
grant of £2.96 million to expand and create and safeguard jobs for
more than 100 people in Knowsley. The company is investing in a new
manufacturing plant to produce medium voltage cables, extending the
portfolio of products manufactured by the company in the UK.
Dr Maurizio Bragagni, CEO of Tratos Ltd, said:- "Being awarded
this substantial sum of money from the RGF provides us with the
means to modernise further and expand our operations, helping to
secure Tratos' future here."
Glen Dimplex Home Appliances, based in Prescot, Merseyside, was
awarded a £3 million RGF grant in the latest round of RGF funding.
The company, a consumer electrical goods firm, will use the grant to
expand production on Merseyside, creating hundreds of new jobs,
boosting the local economy and delivering millions in private
investment in the process.
Patterson and Rothwell Ltd in Oldham used their £1.7 million RGF
funding to invest in a plastic injection press technology, which
will help the company target overseas markets and expand their
investment in R&D facilities. The company, which was founded in 1981
and has now been able to consolidate activities on a single site in
Royton, aims to create or safeguard 88 jobs in manufacturing and
To help bidders on their applications, road shows and expression of
interest days will be held throughout the country from today to
provide advice on how to make a successful bid. On July 23 an event
will be held at Manchester Town Hall.
The Deputy Prime Minister will make the announcement at the
Manufacturing Summit in Merseyside today, where he will speak to
business leaders and manufacturers.
The Business Secretary, Vince Cable, and Business Minister Michael
Fallon, will also speak at the Summit. Vince Cable said:-
"The Regional Growth Fund is a fundamental part of our efforts to
boost manufacturing and rebalance the economy, helping to create new
jobs in the North West. Round six is now open for applications and I
urge businesses to see how it can help them to increase their
workforce or expand to new markets."
Business Minister Michael Fallon said:- "Through the Regional
Growth Fund, we are investing £460 million in the North West, which
will help growing businesses create long-term, highly skilled jobs."
£168 million to fix local roads
THE government has outlined
plans to help fill more than 3 million potholes as part of a massive
investment in the Country's local and major roads.
Councils across England have been allocated £168 million of funding
from a dedicated Pothole Repair Fund. As a condition of receiving
the money local authorities are required to publish monthly progress
updates on how many potholes have been repaired.
This is the latest in a series of announcements which will see more
than £24 billion spent on England's strategic road network between
2010 and 2021; the biggest investment in the road network since the
Parliament is now considering legislation that will transform the
Highways Agency into a Government owned company backed by locked in
funding; changes that will eliminate the uncertain 'stop-start'
funding processes of the past and save the taxpayer at least £2.6
billion over the next 10 years.
This huge investment in the strategic road network is reflected by a
further £7.4 billion committed to local roads in the next
Parliament, along with funding from the £12 billion Local Growth
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:- "Potholes are
the bane of all our lives and the funding announced today is an
important step in ridding our roads of this menace. But it is only
one part of a massive programme of investment to get our country up
to speed as part of this Government's long term economic plan. By
building, repairing and renewing our key infrastructure we will
ensure the future growth and prosperity of this county."
The announcement follows a competition in which Councils were
invited to apply for a share of the £168 million, which includes £10
million being available for London.
In total 148 authorities applied for funding and all will receive a
share. A greater share is being provided to a number of model
authorities who were able to demonstrate best practice in highways
maintenance. These Councils have invested in new technology and
initiatives. They have brought in specialist machinery or set up
dedicated crews, to help fix potholes or prevent them from appearing
in the first place.
Details of funding allocations for individual local authorities can
Those authorities who have demonstrated good practice include:
Northamptonshire; which has set up systems to track pothole repairs
in real time, allowing it to co-ordinate work more effectively and
make sure teams are deployed efficiently.
Hampshire; which has extra pothole fixing equipment in place to
make effective and speedy repairs. This equipment can also be
converted to salt icy roads in winter.
Lancashire has done exemplary work forging links with other
highways authorities, suppliers and contractors to allow it to
tackle potholes more effectively and improve its wider programme of
All repair works have to be
completed by end March 2015. We are asking all authorities who are
awarded funding to pledge to use the money to help repair potholes
or to ensure that they do not appear in the 1st place. Councils
will need to publish quarterly updates so that local residents can
see how many potholes or miles or resurfacing has been undertaken in