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47,000 jobs to be created by Regional Growth Fund

Tens of thousands of jobs could be created in the north west after the announcement today that 34 regional projects have been awarded a share of the government's £1.4bn Regional Growth Fund.

Tens of thousands of jobs could be created in the north west after the announcement today that 34 regional projects have been awarded a share of the government's £1.4bn Regional Growth Fund.

Funding worth £227m has been allocated to organisations in the the region, including the Greater Manchester LEP, Siemens, which plans to develop a new green technology centre in Manchester and Salford City Council, for its Port Salford project.

The LEP bid includes a £10m bid to kick-start MAG Developments' Airport City scheme and a £10m cash pot to distribute to SMEs in the city region.

The government said it hoped 7,800 direct jobs will be created, along with 39,500 indirect jobs, following the second round announcement.

In total, there were 140 bids received for the north west – the highest of all the regions, which account for 20 per cent of all the bids received.

Others that were successful include Tameside Council, the North West Aerospace Alliance and HMG Paints, in Manchester.

Cheshire-based Bentley is also among the businesses to benefit from the grant. Bentley said its £3m grant would safeguard more than 200 jobs.

Bentley said its grant would help support the development of a new engine and would also create a small number of extra jobs within the company's 900-strong engineering department.

Bentley chairman and chief executive Wolfgang Durheimer said: "This is a real boost for Bentley.

"This grant will help safeguard our (engineering) operations as we look to develop new powertrains which appeal to new markets and new customers."

Dr Brian Sloan, Chief Economist at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, said:

"This is welcome news for the region with a much larger share of the fund being allocated to the north west than in the first round of funding. Looking down the list of successful bids, it is pleasing to see a number of exciting infrastructure projects that will help spur on further investment and growth into the future, including here in Greater Manchester.

"These second round bids will safeguard or create 7,800 jobs, which is about the same as those that have been shed by local authorities in Greater Manchester alone, so it is essential that the due diligence process is expedited swiftly to get these projects underway and ensure that the 39,500 jobs in the supply chain are safeguarded to tackle unemployment in the area."

Nationally the projects will directly create around 37,000 jobs, while 164,000 more will be created or protected in the supply chain.

The Government investment is expected to support nearly £6bn of private investment in the successful projects, said the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg.

He said: "I am delighted to be able to announce this boost to business, which will jump-start growth and create jobs that last in the places that really need it.

"This targeted support for businesses across the country allows them to expand and create jobs.

"It unlocks private sector investment - with at least £5 put in for every £1 of public money."

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