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Clegg sets out details of £1bn Growth Fund bidding

Bids for a slice of the £1 billion boost to the Regional Growth Fund will be accepted from February, the government revealed today.

Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said there would be at least two further rounds of bidding for the cash, with the first opening in two months’ time.

Chancellor George Osborne pledged the extra money for the RGF in his Autumn Statement last week.

Mr Clegg said today: “This additional billion-pound boost for British businesses means the Regional Growth Fund will create an estimated half a million jobs before the end of this parliament.

“The first pots of Regional Growth Funding money are already jump starting growth and creating jobs across the country – helping to rebalance our economy so that every region and sector benefits.”

The Regional Growth Fund, launched in October 2010, has already allocated £1.4bn to 176 projects.

Fifty projects were supported after the first bidding round, followed by 119 in the second round. There were also 10 that required further discussion, of which seven have now received funding.

The seven latest projects to win funding include a high construction element. They are:

  • Avanti Goonhilly Development Programme (Cornwall) – creating a major satellite teleport and improvements to Avanti’s existing facility to enable the delivery of satellite services to consumers and customers across the world.
  • Goonhilly Space Science Park (Cornwall) – a project to transform the former BT Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station on the Lizard peninsular into a space science park.
  • Tees Valley Waste Management Plant (Tees Valley) – construction of a Waste Management Plant with a capacity of 50,000 tonnes per annum to treat waste streams throughout the Tees Valley.
  • BF Biogas – part of the Earth Energy group (Teesside) – building an anaerobic digestion manufacturing plant in Teesside, in order to process waste streams such as food and garden waste, animal waste and slurry and convert these into biogas.
  • Neptune Energy Park (River Tyne) – supporting brownfield remediation and infrastructure development works and factory construction on part of the former Neptune Ship Yard on the River Tyne.
  • Newcastle – Central Gateway (Newcastle) – improving access to key development sites in central Newcastle. Addressing physical barriers that would unlock development in Newcastle’s Stephenson Quarter.
  • The Enterprise Agency ConsortiumLet’s Talk Business (North East) Six of the country’s leading enterprise agencies have combined with The National Enterprise Network to produce a national business start-up programme, designed by specialists and delivered by social enterprises. They will provide support and assistance in all of the elements required to start up a successful enterprise.

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