The government’s successful Regional Growth Fund is continuing to whet the appetites of many SMEs as the fourth round of funding continues. A total of 309 applications are competing for a share of the £350 million of funding in this round of the RGF. This fund has been popular with many businesses looking to win extra funding, especially with the banks failing to keep up with SME demand for finance.
Amongst the applicants for the RGF there is a strong regional spread in business location. Most bids are in fact coming from the North West of the country – perhaps not what you would expect – accounting for £315 million via 58 different fund applications. The Yorkshire and Humber and South West regions are also making the most of the fund, bidding for £239 million and £225 million respectively.
The total figure for all round 4 applications comes to £1.8 billion showing the popularity of the RGF. With so many high quality applications from UK businesses, the task of awarding funding is tough for the Independent Advisory Panel, headed by Lord Heseltine. This panel will make recommendations to the Ministerial Group, led by the Deputy Prime Minister, which will then make all the final decisions.
Though some of the applications for the Regional Growth fund come from household names such as Aston Martin, there are also many up and coming companies bidding for funding for new and exciting projects. If your business thinks its got a project that could be eligible for the RGF, then it’s definitely worth applying. If, however, your sights are set a little lower for the time being, then be sure to investigate your alternative finance options in order to be sure you’re making the best funding decisions for your business.