Michael Fallon, Business and Enterprise Minister, has announced that the government’s flagship Regional Growth Fund (RGF) scheme for promoting growth in the UK regions will be dishing out a further £500m in the next twelve months. It has spent £200m since last July, prompting criticism that not enough is being done to stimulate enterprise. However Fallon has responded that, although progress has been slower than he had hoped, after all “it is public money…we have to be careful that it’s used for the purpose claimed for”.
One third of RGF funds go to local authorities and local enterprise partnerships, which can distribute smaller chunks to local businesses, while the remainder will go directly to businesses and projects. The funds are given out in amounts of above £1m, and companies must invest around 6 times the amount awarded to them from their own sources.