Regional Growth Fund to continue for several years, Clegg

Nick CleggThe Government's Regional Growth Fund is likely to continue for several years to come as the government aims to boost business expansion in the UK.

Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg launched the fifth round of the flagship scheme for supporting the business growth. He said that the fund is an important part of the Government's strategy to support business growth across the UK outside the South East.

The government has already spent £2.5 billion since the first round of the fund in 2010and has provided support to 400 programmes and projects aimed at creating private-sector jobs. The latest round of funding including £300 million will be open to private sector firms with plans to expand with bids for £1million or more.

Mr Clegg said, "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. 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."

He also said that there is much work to be done to rebalance the northern economy and move it away from it's over reliance on the public sector.