Regional Growth Fund (RGF) is a £2.6bn government fund which is intended to stimulate private sector led sustainable economic growth and employment. In particular, the Government wishes to see it help those areas and communities that are currently dependent on the public sector make the transition to “sustainable private sector-led growth and prosperity”.
The Northern Housing Consortium believes that there is a strong case for the vast majority of the RGF to be allocated to the North, which has been disproportionately affected by the abolition of Regional Development Agencies, the cessation of Housing Market Renewal funding, and the higher percentage of public sector employment in the North. Over the course of this CSR period, the RGF represents the main opportunity for the North to obtain finance to address these challenges through a transition to sustainable growth.
We were pleased to note that almost 70% of the projects which were successful in obtaining funding in the first round (April 2011) were located in the North of England, including two bids for housing renewal and growth in Wakefield and Hull. The Consortium held two roundtable events in June 2011 where colleagues from Wakefield and Hull explained the background to their successful bids.
The third round of Regional Growth Fund allocations were announced on Friday 19th October 2012 and, once again, the North led the way in successful bids. 64% of successful project bids were located in Northern regions – demonstrating the North’s capacity for innovation and growth.
The fourth round of bidding – for £350m – has now closed. 128 bids – worth £770m – were received from Northern regions, representing 42% of all bids.