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New Regional Growth Fund Bids

Businesses across England have been urged to prepare applications for funding from the next round of the Regional Growth Fund by the Deputy Prime Minister. This Round 5 funding will formally open in October and will be focused entirely on private enterprise proposals, for high quality projects that can generate significant private sector investment and create sustainable jobs.
The Fund will be looking for high quality bids for Round 5 so that it can continue to support a variety of projects, industries and local areas to boost economic growth and create jobs. Businesses have until the closing date of 9 December to submit their bids. Any companies who will not be ready to apply for Round 5 will be able to apply for Round 6 which will be launched in the summer of 2014.
While Round 5 requires minimum bids of £1 million, small and medium sized businesses should be aware that there are still funds available from existing Regional Growth Fund programmes which are still open for business. These schemes will have minimum bids from as little as £5,000 in some areas, and up to £1 million in others.
Lord Heseltine, chair of the Independent Advisory Panel for the Regional Growth Fund, has also published his five top tips for submitting a good bid to the fund. These include being realistic, demonstrating the benefits of the project and seeking guidance from officials and local business leaders. (See attached document detailing Lord Heseltine’s Top Tips).
To help businesses with their applications, there will be a number of events and expression of interest days around the country from 11 October to help answer questions on Round 5 and advice on how to submit a strong bid.
Businesses can find out about their local programmes, and more about how to apply online. These programmes typically have a lower minimum bid threshold which may be more applicable for small to medium enterprises.
If your business is not eligible for the Regional Growth Fund, there are plenty of other government backed finance options available.