The High Growth Solutions for Business Scheme provides valuable practical coaching support for growing businesses but what about getting the funding right?
The Regional Growth Fund is plugging some of the hole previously filled by the regeneration expenditure offered through the now defunct Regional Development Agencies. This £1.4bn fund operating across England from 2011 to 2014 is targeted at supporting projects and programmes that lever private sector investment, create economic growth and pursue a policy of sustainable employment. One of the main aims is make the transition from public sector to private sector led support easier.
The scheme is expected to create over 27,000 jobs with a further 100,000 jobs developing from associated supply chains and local economies.
The first round of bids is now completed and successful bidders for the £450m in this round include a proposal from General Motors to produce the next generation Vivaro van, the construction of a manufacturing plant in Teeside to develop packaging resins and a Manchester hospital development from former eye hospital to centre of excellence. Bids for the second round are invited from businesses with plans for growth and job creation.
In April Nick Clegg said “Today is a step towards rebalancing our economy away from an unhealthy overreliance on a small number of industries and a few areas. We need to spread opportunity across the whole country, drawing on our many talents.”
However John Denham, the Shadow business secretary gave a different perspective with some interesting figures “Cutting funding for regional growth by two-thirds, the Tory-led government is choking off the funding needed for regions to grow and create the jobs our economy needs. The government is allocating £1.4bn over three years to projects, two-thirds less than the £1.4bn a year Labour were investing through the regional development agencies alone”.
Just so we have our facts straight, if the RGF of £450m delivers 127,000 additional jobs that suggests a cost per job ‘created’ by the government of just over £3,500. Again according to John Denham, the 464 projects submitted for bidding in the first roun£450m funding were worth £2.78bn.
A lot of businesses looking for a lot of money.