Deputy PM urges businesses to prepare bids for Regional Growth Fund, as an additional 300m is made available

An extra 300 million has been made available to UK employers through the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) - taking the total to 2.9 billion.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who made the announcement, has called on businesses across the country to get bidding for a share of the latest cash pot.

The fifth round will only be open to private sector bidders seeking 1 million or more, with the Government after companies planning high quality projects that will generate significant investment and sustainable jobs.

So far, 2.6 billion from the first four rounds of the RGF has supported over 400 projects and programmes nationwide.

It is claimed that this money will create and safeguard hundreds of thousands of jobs over the long-term and stimulate 14.7 billion of private sector investment.

Revealing the latest cash pot, for which businesses have until noon on December 9 to submit their bids, Mr Clegg praised home-grown and British-based businesses for their crucial role in the country's economic recovery.

"The economic recovery is starting to bloom," he said. "We're seeing very encouraging signs that we are turning a crucial corner on our road to recovery.

"Home-grown and British-based businesses are leading that charge for a stronger economy. The Regional Growth Fund is a helping hand from the Government, but I pay tribute to the people who are working hard to fuel our recovery.

"My message to businesses in every region is clear - if you've got a project that needs a boost, bid for cash from the Regional Growth Fund."

Road shows and expression of interest days are to be held throughout the country to help potential bidders with their applications, providing advice on how to make a successful bid.

The first event will be held in Loughborough on October 14, followed by one in Huddersfield on October 25.

Plymouth will then play host to one on November 5, as will Liverpool on November 13, and Birmingham a day later on November 14.

Copyright Press Association 2013