Second round RGF bids in

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The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is mulling over bids for the second round of the Regional Growth Fund (RGF).

In total BIS says it received more than 490 bids to the fund, which is designed to encourage enterprise, growth and jobs in the private sector and support regions that are dependent on the public sector.

The majority of applications are likely to be disappointed, however, as in total they are seeking £3.3 billion, while the second round pot is worth just £950 million. BIS received some 450 bids to the first round, of which only 50 were successful.

The bids will be assessed by an advisory board, chaired by Lord Heseltine, over the summer. The board will then make recommendations to ministers with the winners announced in the autumn.

While BIS will not divulge the identity of any of the bids, the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is certain to be among them. BIS did reveal, however, that it received 59 applications from the south west region, asking for £34.4 million.

Lord Heseltine commented: “We knew from the road shows there was going to be a huge amount of interest in the second round of the Regional Growth Fund, and we have been overwhelmed by the volume of bids submitted.

“There is clearly a hunger for public support which will allow new and exciting projects to deliver jobs and growth in their local communities to get off the ground, and I’m pleased to see so many people wanting to be a part of this. We now face the difficult task of assessing each of these bids; we have a busy summer ahead of us!”