North West schemes win RGF investment

The Government has announced the second round of its £1.4bn Regional Growth Fund will support 34 bids from businesses and local partnerships in the North West.

An investment of £227m will be invested in the region to help create 7,800 direct jobs and 39,500 indirect jobs will be supported.

Among the organisations receiving RGF funding is Burnley Council's bid for the re-instatement of the Todmorden Curve rail link and redevelopment of the Weavers' Triangle.

 Todmorden CurveA total of £8.8m was secured by Barnfield Investment Properties, Network Rail, Burnley Council and Lancashire County Council to reinstate 500 metres of rail track that aims to halve train travel time between Burnley and Manchester whilst bringing life back to a neighbouring collection of former mill buildings along the Leeds Liverpool canal.

Tim Webber, managing director of Barnfield Investment Properties, said: "Barnfield are committed to the Weavers' Triangle: its regional historical significance, and great economic potential for the region's future.

"Our reputation is built on quality developments. That will continue as we proceed in partnership with Burnley Council to develop the Weavers' Triangle. There is something positive happening in Burnley – the way the business community came together to support our bid not only fills me with great personal pride having worked in this area for many years, but it also serves as an example to other areas across the country who seek to move towards private sector led growth."

Elsewhere, economic development company Regenerate Pennine Lancashire has brought £7.5m into Lancashire after its bid for RGF investment was successful.

Funding will be used to meet the needs of local advanced manufacturing SMEs by offering them capital investment for expansion projects, including premises, plant and machinery.

Participating companies are also expected to offer graduate internships, apprenticeships or adopt carbon and energy saving targets.

Regenerate Pennine Lancashire wrote the bid in partnership with the Pennine Lancashire local authorities and also brokered partnerships between Lancashire County Developments, University of Central Lancashire, Lancaster University and the Lancashire Chambers of Commerce, which will help deliver the programme.

Dennis Mendoros, chairman of Regenerate and managing director of Euravia, said: "This is great news for Lancashire business. By catering to a direct need within high-growth businesses, Regenerate can help them grow and increase their output so that they can compete on a national and international basis through export. Business growth will of course lead to the creation of new jobs and opportunities for people across Lancashire . This is a great achievement and I most sincerely congratulate the Managing Director and Staff of Regenerate for their success."

The Government said it is investing a total of £950m to help create and safeguard 201,000 jobs in England.

Of the 201,000 jobs created or protected, around 37,000 will be directly created jobs, and more than 164,000 will be in the supply chain. The Government investment will support nearly £6bn of private investment secured by the projects.

The RGF is designed to encourage enterprise, growth and jobs in the private sector and support areas and communities that are dependent on the public sector. An expected 326,000 jobs is expected to be created and safeguarded.

Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister, said: "I am delighted to be able to announce this boost to business, which will jump start growth and create jobs that last in the places that really need it.

"This targeted support for businesses across the country allows them to expand and create jobs.

"It unlocks private sector investment – with at least £5 put in for every £1 of public money. People in the rest of Britain have been let down for far too long by governments in thrall to one Square Mile of it.

"The first pot of Regional Growth Fund money is already making a difference across the country – helping to rebalance our economy so that every region and sector benefits."

In April, the Government announced £24.5m in total was being invested in the first round of bids in the North West from the Regional Growth Fund.

The full list of organisations successful in the second round in the North West includes:

  • University of Liverpool
  • Harpscreen GB
  • Pirelli Tyres
  • Phoenix Court Blackburn
  • Gilbert Gilkes and Gordon – The Kendal-based firm has been given funding for the rebuilding and refurbishing of factory manufacturing pumps and hydro-electric turbines
  • Crown Speciality Packaging UK
  • Redx Pharma
  • Double R Controls
  • C&C Baseline
  • Standish Engineering
  • Ronfell
  • Double R Controls
  • North West Aerospace Alliance
  • Sefton Council
  • Eldonians Group
  • Energy Coast West Cumbria
  • The Listen Media Company
  • The Greater Manchester LEP
  • Siemens plc
  • Diodes Zetex Semiconductors
  • Ferguson Polycom
  • Salford City Council
  • Tameside Council
  • Economic Solutions
  • Pochin Developments
  • Keepmoat Homes
  • Regenerate Pennine Lancashire
  • Lucite International UK
  • Bentley Motors
  • DI UK
  • HMG Paints
  • Burnley Council
  • Pilkington United Kingdom
  • Getrag Ford Transmissions – The Knowsley-based company has gained funding support to expand capacity for the production of transmissions at its Halewood plant

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UPDATE: Adds comment from Regenerate Pennine Lancashire

By Ed

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