Additional funding announced for regional businesses

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A major boost to the Regional Growth Fund will help to bolster UK firms

The government remains committed to helping regional businesses grow in the UK and to this end, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) in partnership with the Deputy Prime Minister's Office has announced a major new investment in this area.

Deputy PM Nick Clegg has unveiled a £297 million investment as part of the sixth round of advancement for the Regional Growth Fund. This latest tranche of funding brings the total amount invested in the scheme to £2.85 billion since its launch in 2010, with the money helping to develop businesses across the length and breadth of the nation in recent years.

To date, more than £1.1 billion has been invested in the UK's manufacturing industry by the fund, while £364 million has been of benefit to the automotive sector, £104 million for low-carbon enterprises and around £100 million for the aerospace market.

Mr Clegg stated: "After decades of regional economies being neglected, I set about investing directly in local businesses via the Regional Growth Fund. This investment has allowed regional businesses to be more ambitious than ever before and gone a long way in creating a stronger economy.

"A stronger economy means providing equal opportunity for everyone across the UK, rather than solely relying on the city of London to bolster UK business."

He added that the success of the fund to date highlights how putting money into the hands of local businesses really does help them to flourish. The money is available to companies of all sizes and is focused on helping businesses take on more staff and grow in their chosen field.

According to BIS, for every £1 invested from the Regional Growth Fund into UK companies, this has been matched by an additional £5.50 from the private sector and means the total boost to the economy to date through the fund could stand as high as £16 billion.