RGF millions granted to Lancs projects

Details of the Regional Growth Fund’s latest round of economic stimulus packages have been revealed – with cash allocated to several projects across the red rose county.

Skelmersdale-based Erlson Precision Components has secured investment to carry out infrastructure improvements on its current facilities.

Kilgour Metal Treatments of Thornton-Cleveleys, which manufactures parts and offers treatments to the aircraft industry, has secured funding to renovate its premises and to invest in new technology.

Meanwhile, Burnley’s Aircelle has secured £1.4m to create a 50,000 sq ft logistics park in the town. Located at the former Michelin site, the aim is to strengthen the region’s capabilities in the aerospace sector throughout the supply chain.

In addition, Lancashire Business View has landed a £4m pot of money which it will distribute amongst 600 businesses in the county with the aim of creating 1,000 jobs.

Economic development company Regenerate Pennine Lancashire will be the delivery partner, while Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council will be the accountable body, responsible for the management of the funds.

The project has the support of key figures across the county including the Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the Federation of Small Business (FSB), East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce and Pennine Lancashire’s council leaders.Of the total finance package, £3m will be awarded as grants and, with private sector funds, meaning £12m will be invested over two years.

Richard Slater, publisher of Lancashire Business View magazine, said: “This is fantastic news for the county and a privilege for us to be at the heart of an investment and jobs creation programme.

“What sets it apart from traditional grant schemes is that this one is being led by the private sector and will be driven by entrepreneurial thinking. Grants will be linked to the number and quality of jobs created, the amount of private sector investment attracted, and the additional economic impacts accrued.”

The government earmarked the £2.4bn Regional Growth Fund to assist manufacturing firms, small businesses and local partnerships across England expand their operations, create new jobs and stimulate growth.

In this, the third round of allocated funding, £1bn has been distributed across the country, of which around £80m will go to North West organisations.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “This £1bn boost for growth in towns and cities across England is creating jobs that will last in the parts of the country that need it most. In tough economic times the Regional Growth Fund is good value for taxpayers’ money – this £1bn round of the fund is pulling in £6bn of private sector investment.”