Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:

“The Regional Growth Fund is a helping hand from Government to create thousands of jobs that last, boost the private sector and rebalance the economy.

“I’ve seen first hand at e2v Technologies how the fund is supporting businesses that are working hard to fuel our recovery and help us build a stronger economy.

“I would encourage any businesses that can generate significant private sector investment and sustainable jobs to bid for a share of the £200 million available from the fund.”

Round six will be open to private sector bidders seeking £1 million or more. The Government is calling on companies to plan high quality projects that will generate significant private sector investment and sustainable jobs. Businesses will be able to submit their bids until noon on 30 September 2014.

Companies in Eastern England that have already had support from the RGF include:

1. e2v Technologies (UK) ltd in Chelmsford, Essex, a world-leading silicon imaging business, was awarded £2.9 million from RGF’s round four, as well as grants through rounds one and three – in total the three projects have delivered almost 200 jobs. The most recent project is part of an overall e2V investment of £9 million, and will enable the company to develop its business in the radiotherapy market and develop and establish manufacturing and test processes as part of its strategic plan.

Keith Attwood, CEO of e2v, said:

“Funding through the RGF is playing an important role in enabling and accelerating our development projects and shows genuine commitment on behalf of the Government in supporting manufacturing and sustainable high level job creation in the UK.”

2. Lotus Cars, a sports and racing car manufacturer based in South Norfolk, was awarded grants totalling £10.44 million, which will be used for research and development of products, along with staff training. Lotus is expected to create 313 new full time jobs to support production over the coming years.

To help bidders with their applications, road shows and expression of interest days will be held throughout the country from today to provide advice on how to make a successful bid. On July 25, an event will be held at the University of Suffolk in Ipswich.

The Deputy Prime Minister will make the announcement at the Manufacturing Summit in Merseyside today, where he will speak to business leaders and manufacturers.

The Business Secretary, Vince Cable, and Business Minister Michael Fallon, will also speak at the Summit.

Vince Cable said:

“The Regional Growth Fund is a fundamental part of our efforts to boost manufacturing and rebalance the economy, helping to create new jobs in Eastern England. Round six is now open for applications and I urge businesses to see how it can help them to increase their workforce or expand to new markets."

Business Minister Michael Fallon said:

“Through the Regional Growth Fund, we are investing £100 million in Eastern England which will help growing businesses create long-term, highly skilled jobs.”

The Summit also saw Business Minister Michael Fallon announce that a new Government funded body to attract inward investment to the UK has smashed its targets in its first year.

The Automotive Investment Organisation was created to spearhead inward investment in to the UK. It has achieved:

• £457million worth of investment.
• 80 projects funded – beating the target of 60 projects.
• More than 5600 supply chain jobs secured - beating the target of 4000 jobs.