Call on firms to bid for cash

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BUSINESSES are being urged to submit their bids for a big pot of money before next month’s deadline.

Nearly £1bn is up for grabs under the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF).

Regeneration chiefs in Hartlepool are urging firms to claim before bidding closes on Friday, July 1.

The RGF is a Government project to stimulate private sector-led growth across the UK.

Officials at Tees Valley Unlimited (TVU), which is co-ordinating the area’s bid for cash, have already promised their full advice and support, as previously reported.

Tees Valley clinched £26m in round one of the RGF.

Pamela Hargreaves, the portfolio holder for economic development and regeneration at Hartlepool Borough Council, is due to meet this Friday to discuss the second round of bidding. Round one of the RGF was only open to firms bidding for sums of £1m or more.

But round two could help smaller Hartlepool firms as companies which could not meet the £1m threshold can submit packages where the combined total reaches £1m.

A report by Antony Steinberg, the council’s economic development manager, said: “Round two of RGF has been opened up with a deadline for submission of July 1.

“In terms of individual applications from businesses both Hartlepool Borough Council and Tees Valley Unlimited will offer support to the businesses to complete applications, providing a range of expertise including key local economic statistics, grant ratios including cost per jobs and stock answers for the more generic questions.”

Round two is also open to programmes which show an investment strategy for a particular geographical area and projects which show commitment to long-term growth.

Mr Steinberg added: “The Government, as part of its attempt to stimulate the economy, has introduced a competitive bidding process for RGF which aims to stimulate private sector investment and job creation thereby creating economic growth.

“The fund is particularly focused on areas that are dependent on public sector jobs and investment.”

The portfolio meeting is due to take place on Friday at 3.30pm at the Civic Centre, in Victoria Road.

For more information about the second round of the RGF, call TVU on (01642) 524400.