Gordon Marsden MP, Shadow Minister for Further Education, Skills & Regional Growth, commenting on the latest round of Regional Growth Fund awards, said:
“We urgently need a plan for growth but instead we have the Regional Growth Fund which has created far more losers than winners, with over two thirds of firms applying across the country missing out.
“Major issues remain with the delays and confusion which have beset what is supposed to be the Government’s flagship industrial policy. There are winning bidders from the RGF’s previous rounds who have been waiting more than a year and a half to receive their money, and ministers have admitted that they could now be waiting until next year and beyond. If these chronic delays hit the third round of the Fund, the winners of which were announced today, they may not receive their money until 2015.
“A recent Public Accounts Committee highly critical report found that only £60 million out of £1.4 billion of allocated funds has directly reached businesses. Millions of pounds are gathering dust in government coffers as ministers have dragged their feet and failed to get money out of the door. They urgently need to get a grip and make sure this round of the fund doesn’t go the same way.”<div>