Yorkshire lags despite millions

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg
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YORKSHIRE firmS have today been awarded £15 million in Government cash to help them create jobs.

Four companies in the region are among 50 across the country sharing £300m from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund.

The Government cash will help the Yorkshire firms involved make a total investment of around £120 million.

But there will be disappointment that the region continues to lag behind other parts of the North in terms of the amount of money Yorkshire has secured from one of the Government’s main policies for growing the economy and creating jobs outside London.

The Government insists the amount of money handed over to Yorkshire businesses and the number of projects supported reflects the volume of applications submitted from the region.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “Yorkshire and Humberside has seen major benefits from the Regional Growth fund already, and the £15million investment I am announcing today is making sure the recovery is sustainable and balanced across the country.

“We’re seeing very encouraging signs that the British economy is on the road to recovery. Home-grown and British-based businesses are leading that charge for a stronger economy.

“The Regional Growth Fund gives businesses a helping hand from Government to fuel business expansion and create sustainable employment.”

The latest round of cash takes the total amount handed to Yorkshire firms and projects to £270m since the fund was first launched in 2011.

That compares to £320m for the North-East, £420m for the North West and £430m for the West Midlands.

All three areas also have more projects being supported with the North-East receiving backing for 99 compared to Yorkshire’s 52.

In the latest round of funding announced today, every region has received more cash than Yorkshire except the East of England.

Wire manufacturer Anglia Metal and fellow Normanton business Really Useful Products will receive money from the latest RGF round along with Reckitt Benckiser which has operations in Hull and UK Steel Enterprise, part of Tata Steel which supports businesses in South Yorkshire and the Humber.

Writing in The Yorkshire Post today, the Deputy Prime Minister says: “This region has seen first hand how the Regional Growth Fund can help companies and their local communities thrive and I want to use this opportunity to further encourage more businesses to throw their hats in the ring and really take advantage of what this scheme has to offer.”

The Regional Growth Fund was launched by the Coalition as part of its efforts to rebalance the economy away from the South-East in the wake of its decision to scrap regional development agencies such as Yorkshire Forward.

Government Minister Don Foster will today visit AJS North in Featherstone and Xamax Clothing in Ossett which have previously received RGF cash.

He said: “As a Government, we have been striving to rebalance the economy away from London and away from the financial sector, in order to avoid a repeat of the crash in 2008.”

The region’s four local enterprise partnerships recently submitted bids for millions of pounds from the Government’s Local Growth Fund to support ambitious plans to grow Yorkshire’s economy.