Sandwell wins £4 million Regional Growth Fund

THE West Midlands has benefitted to the tune of £57m from the latest share out of Regional Growth Fund (RGF) cash.

Jaguar Land Rover has been green-lighted for three projects and other local winners include Tata Steel, Wade Ceramics and Malvern Instruments.

Approval has also been given to create a loan fund across the Birmingham & Solihull and Black Country local enterprise partnership (LEP) areas.

The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced that, nationally, 102 companies and projects that applied for funding have been successful.

The companies will take a share of a £506m pot of funding.

The RGF supports the Government’s industrial strategy and also key sectors such as automotive. Aerospace, energy and life sciences.

Clegg said: “The Regional Growth Fund is exactly what this country needs to go for growth – from family-run Cartwright Group in Manchester who are now expanding to create 300 jobs and train up to 30 apprentices every year for the next three years, to Toyota who will use the money to help increase their ability to develop and produce new generations of Toyota cars right here in the UK, securing jobs and creating opportunities for the future.”

The Government suggests the different projects and programmes from this round will leverage £2.8bn of additional private sector investment and create or safeguard 77,000 jobs. When added to the success of the first three rounds this represents a total of £15bn private sector investment.

The successful West Midlands bidders are

• GBS Mezzanine Funding Programme (Birmingham City Council Programme)
• Coventry and Warwickshire Business Finance (Coventry and Warwickshire LEP – Programme)
• The Marches and Worcestershire Redundant Building Grant Programme (Herefordshire Council – Programme)
• Jaguar Land Rover Ltd
• Jaguar Land Rover Ltd
• Jaguar Land Rover Ltd
• King Automotive Systems Ltd
• Malvern Instruments Ltd
• NVC Lighting Ltd
• Robinson Brothers Ltd
• Growing Priority Sectors in the Black Country (Sandwell MBC – Programme)
• Innovative Growth in Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire (Stoke on Trent City Council – Programme)
• Tata Steel UK Ltd
• TRW Automotive – College Road
• Wade Ceramics Limited
• Worcestershire Expansion Fund (Worcestershire County Council – Programme)

One of the most significant moves locally is the approval given by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to approve a £7m allocation to create a mezzanine loan fund across the Greater Birmingham & Solihull and the Black Country LEP areas, in addition to a £7m national tooling fund.

The fund, when it gets up and running later this year, will make mezzanine-style loans available for growth capital of up to £2m.

It will use the governance and delivery already used through the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative and build on the work of Birmingham City Council’s Loan Fund.

The Tooling Loan Fund for the automotive sector is intended to fund the expansion and increase the competitiveness of the existing tooling capacity by helping businesses secure new work as well as securing the repatriation of overseas-based tooling business to this country.

Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP chair Andy Street said: “We are delighted that bids for both programmes and individual businesses in Greater Birmingham from the Regional Growth Fund have been successful.

“We are already seeing the benefits of previous rounds of the Regional Growth Fund with the expansion of Birmingham Airport and the on-going investments at Jaguar Land Rover.

“The new mezzanine fund will add to the increasing range of programmes we have available to businesses in Greater Birmingham, adding to the Green Bridge Fund, Business Development Programme and Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative, among others.

“Significantly, it is yet another example of how LEPs can effectively work together to secure funding and another instance of where we have joined forces with the Black Country on shared priorities.”

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