Heseltine visits Liverpool

Lord Heseltine visited the city's Town Hall on Friday to encourage local businesses and entrepreneurs to bid for cash from the Government's £1.4bn Regional Growth Fund.

At the second of a series of road shows taking place across the country, Lord Heseltine will meet potential applicants for the fund to advise them on the bidding process and encourage them to come forward with high-quality proposals that promise to unleash local talent and help communities in Liverpool and the North West flourish.

More than 150 local businesses, entrepreneurs and civic leaders are expected to attend Friday's event at Liverpool's Town Hall.

The Government said the Regional Growth Fund has two key objectives:

  • to provide support for projects that can drive sustainable economic growth and create new private sector jobs
  • to particular help communities that are currently dependent on the public sector make the transition to private sector-led growth and prosperity

Lord Heseltine is chairman of the independent advisory panel, which will consider all bids for funding and make recommendations to Ministers about which should be successful. He will be supported by deputy chairman, Sir Ian Wrigglesworth, and a team of academics, business and civic leaders.

Lord Heseltine said: "I'm delighted to be here in Liverpool as an advocate for this important Fund.

"The Government is putting local people at the heart of decision-making, empowering them to develop their own vision for long-term local growth and allowing them to make important and innovative decisions that impact on their communities.

"The Regional Growth Fund presents an opportunity for businesses and entrepreneurs in Liverpool and the North West to help shape their own economic future. I hope today's road show will inspire local people to think strategically about their area's priorities and I encourage them to come forward with compelling funding proposals that promise to deliver a positive change to the local economy; bringing new jobs and benefits to local people."

The former Tory Deputy Prime Minister and 'minister for Merseyside' was also speaking at a Downtown Liverpool in Business event, held at the Crowne Plaza, on Thursday about the Regional Growth Fund as well as discussing how Liverpool can secure its future prosperity.

The Government said the Regional Growth Fund will operate over three years. The first of at least three bidding rounds is now open and the deadline for proposals is 21 January 2011. Further bidding rounds will be announced in early 2011.

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