The Regional Growth Fund, a £3.2bn fund operating across England, is due to accept applications from SMEs for the next round of funding. The fifth round – which will focus entirely on private enterprise proposals – is due to open in October, and will close on 9th December 2013.
This new round will only accept minimum bids of £1m, so it is targeted primarily at mid-sized firms. For smaller firms, existing programmes are still open to applications for bids starting at £5,000.
The Regional Growth Fund was established in 2011 to support projects that use private sector investment to create economic growth and sustainable employment. More than 2,900 grants have been awarded to SMEs via the fund, through programmes administered by intermediaries, such as banks and local enterprise partnerships. It has so far helped to create thousands of jobs, according to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.
“Britain is returning to long-term growth, but we want to see business booming,” says Clegg. “I’d encourage all companies to look carefully at how the fund can help you grow, and get ready to apply in October.”
“The Regional Growth Fund plays a pivotal role in supporting business and enterprise,” adds Business Minister Michael Fallon. “There is a relatively short window to submit an application, so firms should start thinking now about the size and timing of their bid to help them expand and hire more skilled workers.”
For more information on the Regional Growth Fund, please click here.