Regional Growth Fund in full swing

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The number of small and medium-sized enterprises supported through the Government’s Regional Growth Fund has trebled over the past year to 5,100.

The scheme’s Annual Monitoring Report also found the number of direct jobs created or safeguarded more than doubled in a year, to 69,000.

RGF payments in 2013-14 totalled £565 million, compared to £161 million in the previous financial year.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “The Regional Growth Fund is now in full swing. Over the last year alone it has more than doubled in size.

“The fund is securing the jobs it set out to – 69,000 direct jobs at the end of the last financial year and every one of them outside London. This combined with the Growth Deals we announced earlier this month is ensuring that our economy grows in a balanced way, with all our regions benefitting from the upturn.”

Sheffield City Region is set to take control of its future with a £300m of funding under the Growth Deal to create 28,000 jobs. A £130m ‘skills bank’ and a £5m British Glass Academy will also be created in Sheffield.