Regional Growth Fund boost for West Midlands and Potteries
Projects to support over 7,500 new jobs and secure 14,000 more across the Potteries, the West Midlands and Warwickshire feature in the latest round of investment by the government's Regional Growth Fund announced today [Friday October 19th].
The investments are part of the third round of grants worth £1.05bn by the Regional Growth Fund, which is overseen by the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg and has already announced £2.4bn of investment in the first two rounds.
Welcoming the news, West Midlands MEP Phil Bennion, Lib Dem Employment Spokesman in the European Parliament, said:
"Today's announcement is a significant investment in new jobs in the Potteries, Birmingham and across the manufacturing heart of the West Midlands. It is a vote of confidence in our industries and a boost for everyone involved in securing this investment.
"There is help for JLR to continue their recent export surge, much needed assistance for Wedgwood and success for important bids by Chambers of Commerce and LEPs for Stoke, the Black Country, Birmingham and Coventry.
"The Regional Growth Fund, steered by Nick Clegg and Vince Cable, is proving to be a vital ingredient in promoting economic recovery.
"Instead of concentrating on the City of London as the previous Labour government did, it is good to see Lib Dem ministers in the Coalition taking action to ensure the West Midlands is given the help it needs.
"Our economy has relied too much on financial services based mostly in London. I am pleased to see Liberal Democrats are ensuring this government takes real action to rebalance the economy by investing in areas like ours through the Regional Growth Fund."
Commenting further, Lib Dem leader and 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.
"The Regional Growth Fund is working, on track and supporting businesses to create jobs and grow the economy."
Projects announced today include:
RGF support for 7,558 direct jobs and a further 1,621 indirect jobs at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) in Solihull and Coventry. JLR has been selected for funding from the Regional Growth Funding (RGF) to support its investment in additional manufacturing capacity for two all-new lightweight vehicle platforms in the UK. The RGF will also support new training programmes for JLR's new and existing employees.
As part of its ambitious plans for growth, JLR will in Coventry design and engineer two new technologically advanced, lightweight vehicles to add to its Land Rover product range.
553 direct jobs, 479 indirect jobs at Turner Powertrain Systems of Wolverhampton, a Caterpillar owned company, which is to invest in a new European Centre of Excellence for component machining and assembly in Wolverhampton. The investment will enable non UK work to be repatriated, together with improved quality, supply reliability and competitive cost levels. This will enable growth in the business and reverse the decline which has occurred over the past 5 years. The project has been selected to receive Regional Growth Funding without which the project would not have proceeded causing the closure of the existing factory an potential job losses.
94 direct jobs, 123 indirect jobs at US automotive driveline specialist Dana, which has an axle manufacturing facility in Birmingham. The company received £1.03 million. This will help the company further invest in plant, machinery and new technology to take advantage of the expanding European automotive market and enhance its engineering capability. The investment will also enable the company to create closer links with local technical colleges to provide training for staff, including apprenticeships in a variety of engineering disciplines.
52 indirect jobs supported after RGF support to the Express and Star Newspaper Group and the University of Wolverhampton, who are to run a programme across the Black Country offering grants to small businesses of between £10,000 to £50,000.
307 direct job and 523 indirect jobs for GE Energy of Newcastle under Lyme, who are creating a Centre of Excellence. This latest stage of expansion of their Power Conversion business signifies further advances in their manufacturing processes and volumes. Gary Lynch, Business Manager, said, "Creating this Centre of Excellence for the design, development and manufacture of low voltage power convertors in renewable energy in this part of the country is just reward for a workforce who have raised productivity levels year-on-year."
Birmingham City Council, on behalf of a cross-LEP consortium in the West Midlands, has been selected to receive funding from the Regional Growth Fund. Small grants of up to £100k will be provided to boost SME supply chain companies in their transition to a green economy. The support will attract a further funding from SMEs to help to tackle skills shortages, promote new products into the market and offer financial investment to grow business activity within their supply chains. This will create new jobs and safeguard existing jobs in key sectors, thereby bringing additional investment into the LEP area including Black Country LEP, Coventry & Warwickshire LEP, Worcestershire LEP, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP. Estimates are of 350 direct jobs and 1,055 indirect jobs.
22 indirect jobs and 91 direct jobs at BRM Packaging Ltd in Wolverhampton.
261 direct jobs and 262 indirect jobs at Pailton in Coventry, which has been selected by BIS. The grant will assist the programme of product development and capital investment. Pailton will safeguard current employment;. Training: Most of the new jobs will be highly skilled - a training programme for a Company-wide up-skilling and increased apprenticeships is made possible by the BIS grant. Investment: £20.5m will be invested at new site in Coventry to enable the rationalisation of Pailton's production activities at one advanced manufacturing facility in the City.
808 indirect jobs: Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire LEP in partnership with North Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce will offer a major boost to local businesses by offering funding support for expansion, investment and job creation, through a grant scheme in targeted areas called the Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire Jobs & Growth Fund. Working with Staffordshire Sentinel Newspapers to promote the Fund.
43 new jobs and 591 indirect jobs. WWRD (Wedgwood-Waterford-Royal Doulton) is delighted to announce that it has been successful in being selected for funding from the Government's Regional Growth Fund to support the proposed £25 million redevelopment of its Wedgwood Estate in Barlaston, Stoke on Trent.
201 direct jobs and 218 indirect jobs via the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership covering several boroughs is leading an application for funding in round 3 of the government's Regional Growth Fund, to support growth in priority sectors.
99 direct jobs and 267 indirect jobs at Cab Automotive Ltd in Tipton. The firm was established in 2005 as a privately owned company following the demise of MG Rover and the impact on their supply chain, specialising in supplying the automotive sector with seats and interior trim. Major customers include Jaguar Land Rover, Aston Martin, Bentley, McLaren and Magna for Toyota products. Based on a 9 acre site employing over 150 people RGF support has enabled the Company to secure its site and invest in new technologies and equipment to secure long term employment and support the growth for UK based vehicle manufacturers for vehicles that sell all across the world.
Goodwin PLC, the Stoke-on-Trent engineering group, announces the award of a grant from the Regional Growth Fund enabling it to proceed with its 'Jubilee Project'. Plans include the construction of a group training school. The project will allow this 129 year old company to continue expanding its UK employment and profitability and a facility will be built on a 7.9 acre brown field site on Ivy House Road. The project also includes for the setting up of a new valve company that will develop a balanced axial piston valve to compliment the £60 Million per year of valves already sold by Goodwin with over 80 % being exported. An area for development has been set aside for Stoke-on-Trent's 'City Waterside Project'. 43 direct jobs, 170 indirect.
Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership announces a major job creation and investment programme with RGF support, which should provide 3,925 direct jobs.
Aston Martin with support from the RGF, now plans to develop a class leading new sports car to be engineered and built at Gaydon in Warwickshire. The firm will also develop a new low emission high power, pressure-charged engine to be assembled at Gaydon. The projects should provide 533 direct jobs and 465 indirect jobs.