Business Secretary Vince Cable is visiting automotive specialist Millbrook in Bedford today (10 April) as it is announced the company will take a share of £6 million awarded to East of England projects from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF).
Millbrook is one of two projects in the East of England announced by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to have been awarded a combined £6 million of RGF finance in Round 5. Together the awards are expected to raise £40 million of private investment and create and safeguard up to 700 jobs.
When added to the success of the first four rounds, this represents a total of £90 million of RGF funding for 13 projects in the East of England. These projects and programmes have raised over £400 million of private sector investment and will create up to 15,000 jobs in the long-term.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said:
“Millbrook is leading the way in automotive innovation. Their success in Round 5 of the Regional Growth Fund will underscore expansion plans and create new highly skilled jobs onsite – exactly what the fund was established to do.
“Coupled with other RGF successes, there is a positive growth story for the East of England, including the creation and safeguard of up to 15,000 jobs in the long-term.”
Alex Burns, Chief Executive of Millbrook, said:
“We are very pleased to receive this funding from the UK Government. There has been a great deal of positive change at Millbrook in the past six months, all of which will contribute to an exciting future for Millbrook as a world class technology and test centre.
“This grant will enable Millbrook to invest in new facilities and strengthen our relationships with our customers, public transport agencies and academic institutions. Key elements of the test facilities will be uniquely in the UK and the RGF funding will ensure that this capacity, with the resulting technologies and business opportunities are not lost to international competitors.”
A total of 50 companies and projects across England that applied for RGF funding have been successful in Round 5, following a competitive round.
£119 million of investment will help to rebalance the economy by supporting 37 companies from a range of industrial sectors. A further 13 RGF intermediary programmes, both regional and national, have been awarded £182 million to support small businesses.
Round 6 of the Regional Growth Fund, the last round in this Parliament, will open for applications in the summer.