more government cash – similar to the help Federal Mogul received to develop new friction products for the export market – is needed if the East Midlands is to punch above its weight, George Cowcher, Chief Executive of the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce, has said.
Commenting on the recent announcement by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg on the opening of the third round of applications for the Regional Growth Fund (RGF), Mr Cowcher said: “Businesses will welcome the extra £1bn that the Government is making available through the Regional Growth Fund to help improve the business environment in the English regions.
“However, although our two counties have had some notable successes in the two previous rounds of RGF bidding – including funding for Chamber members Molecular Profiles, Federal Mogul Friction Products, JCB and a £40m advanced technology cluster in Derby – the region as a whole has punched well below its weight in comparison with other areas in previous rounds.
“The Chamber is particularly anxious to ensure that the two counties attract further funding in Round Three and will be working with the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, its member businesses and other partners to encourage strong bids from local firms, which meet the key criteria of creating jobs, stimulating economic growth and leveraging further private investment.
“In order to give local firms a better understanding of how to bid for Regional Growth Fund cash and the sorts of projects the fund was set up to support, the Chamber and the LEP will be holding an RGF Business Briefing on March 13 and more details about this event will be available soon.”