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North west dominates growth fund

1:03 pm, February 18, 2011

According to figures released today from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the largest number of bids to the Regional Growth Fund has come from the north west.

The £1.4 billion Regional Growth Fund is designed to encourage enterprise and growth in the private sector, particularly in regions that are dependent on the public sector.

In total, 464 bids were received, with 89 of them coming from the north west. Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, another area with a high dependence on the public sector, lodged just six bids.

Once the Independent Advisory Panel, chaired by Lord Heseltine, has assessed the bids, they will advise a panel of ministers chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

Lord Heseltine said: “The regional breakdown of the number of bids sent in to the fund provides a useful insight in to the economic priorities of the areas and which regions believe they will benefit the most from extra government support.

“It is our task now to extract those bids that are going to make a real difference to boosting private sector jobs and local growth. The level of response to the Regional Growth Fund suggests it’s not going to be an easy task.”

The Regional Growth Fund will run for three years and there will be a second round this year.

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