Nick Clegg visits Nottingham to announce £350 million boost for economy
DEPUTY Prime Minister Nick Clegg will come to Nottingham today to announce a £350 million boost for Britain's biggest cities.
City leaders will hope to claim a share of the cash from the Government's Regional Growth Fund, which has been set up by the coalition Government to encourage economic development and create jobs in cities like Nottingham.
Mr Clegg told the Post that £130 million had already been spent from the fund in the East Midlands, with 4,200 jobs being created in Nottingham over seven years.
One Nottingham firm to win a bid in the fund was Molecular Profiles at Nottingham Business Park.
The company was handed £1.6 million to buy land and build a 30,000 square foot extension to triple the capacity of its research and development centre – creating 62 new jobs.
Mr Clegg said: "I'm delighted to be able to announce new jobs in Nottingham today, thanks to the Regional Growth Fund.
"And I'm thrilled to confirm that we will keep up the progress made by the Regional Growth Fund with a further £350 million being made available to grow British companies.
"In straightened times, where we've got spare cash, it's vital we put that money into what counts.
"And it is good value for money – around £6 of private sector money for every £1 of public spend."
Around £100 million of the latest cash announcement is 'recycled money' – meaning it wasn't spent in the first three rounds.
Mr Clegg said: "There is no point in spending money just because it's there.
"We want to deliver the real bangs for our bucks.
"We are not going to spend taxpayers' money if projects don't create new or safeguard existing jobs."
The announcement follows yesterday's Autumn Statement, in which George Osborne slashed almost £4 billion a year off the government's welfare bill with a below-inflation increase in benefits for Britain's poorest families.
When asked whether the statement would have a negative impact on working families, Mr Clegg said: "Everybody is under pressure, which is why we introduced the public sector pay freeze.
"We made the decision that we are applying the same approach with people who receive money from taxpayers.
"We are giving money back to people most dramatically by canceling the 3p fuel duty increase and by raising the point of which people have to start paying income tax."
He added this move would benefit two million people in the East Midlands and result in 17,000 people not having to pay any income tax.
The Post cannot reveal the location and timing of Mr Clegg's visit due to security.
For full coverage of the Autumn Statement and how it affects Notts, see pages 6 and 7.
Will your business bid for new funding from the Regional Growth Fund? Call us on 0115 9482000 or e-mail email@example.com