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SMEs: apply for your slice of the £3.2bn Regional Growth Fund

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The Regional Growth Fund, a £3.2bn fund operating across England, is due to accept applications from SMEs for the next round of funding. The fifth round of funding – which will focus entirely on private enterprise proposals – is due to open in October.

This new round will only accept minimum bids of £1m, so it is targeted primarily at mid-sized firms. For smaller firms, existing programmes are still open to applications for bids starting at £5,000.

The Regional Growth Fund was set up in 2011 to support projects and programmes that use private sector investment to create economic growth and sustainable employment.

2,900 grants so far 

“The Regional Growth Fund has been a success, helping to create thousands of jobs,” says Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister. 

Since the Regional Growth Fund started, more than 2,900 grants have been awarded to SMEs through programmes administered by intermediaries, such as banks and local enterprise partnerships.

“Britain is returning to long-term growth, but we want to see business booming,” continues Clegg. “I’d encourage all companies to look carefully at how the Fund can help you grow, and get ready to apply in October.”

Application forms for Round Five will be available in early October and businesses will have until the closing date of December 9 to submit their bids. The next round after that will be in the summer of 2014.

“The Regional Growth Fund is playing a pivotal role in supporting business and enterprise. The next round, which opens in October, will help keep the momentum going and complement the long-term approach of our industrial strategy – helping us invest and support key sectors,” adds Business Minister Michael Fallon.

“There is a relatively short window to submit an application so firms should start thinking now about the size and timing of their bid to help them expand and hire more skilled workers.”

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