Extra money available for regional growth fund

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Firms looking to expand in Yorkshire will have one more opportunity to bid for Government support after the Chancellor announced a fourth round of bids for the regional growth fund.

The Treasury said yesterday it is putting an extra £250m into the fund, alongside a £100m underspend still available from previous rounds.

The sums available will be significantly lower than that in the previous three rounds of the scheme, which have totalled £2.4 billion since 2010.

The fund remains the coalition’s flagship way of supporting private sector growth in the regions, giving firms the opportunity to bid for money to support their plans for expansion.

It has faced constant criticisms for its slow roll-out, however, and bids from Yorkshire have been consistently less successful than from other parts of the country.

Nonetheless, the new £350m round of funding was widely welcomed in the region.

Leeds and Partners Chief Executive Lurene Joseph said: “Leeds and Partners is pleased the Chancellor has taken further positive steps to create growth, in particular the additional £350m for the Regional Growth Fund.

“Leeds had already secured £500,000 of RGF funding to drive the city’s unique tourism offer.

“The city intends to capitalise on further RGF opportunities to boost investment and long term economic growth.”