Ministers hail 240,000 jobs boost for manufacturing sector after 1 billion in extra funding is released

Manufacturers hope a new round of funding unveiled by the Government will help to stimulate investment and create jobs in the sector around the country.

Ministers announced that around 130 projects in England will benefit from 1 billion released from the Regional Growth Fund, which they hope will create or safeguard around 240,000 jobs.

Of the money released, some 700 million will go to private firms and 358 million to local authorities and enterprise partnerships.

It it expected that this money in turn will lead to 6 billion of private sector investment.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who announced details of the new funding round, said the money will help create jobs in towns and cities in parts of the country that need it most.

He said the fund is "good value" for taxpayers' money, especially in such tough economic times when private firms are being asked to create employment options amid cuts in the public sector.

Mr Clegg said that he had seen some of the success stories of the fund as he toured the country, adding that the money from the fund had helped businesses increase recruitment.

He added: "I have seen for myself the real difference this makes on the ground - from iconic businesses like Eddie Stobart expanding in Widnes and creating 3,450 jobs in the local area, to the Sunderland car parts factory Unipres who have used their funding to buy a new 3,000 tonne press, letting them accelerate production and take on an extra 316 people."

Steve Radley, director of policy at EEF, the manufacturers' organisation, welcomed the extra funding but warned the Government must not rest on its laurels.

He said that in particular it must make sure that delays in handing out the money seen in previous funding rounds are not repeated.

Mr Radley added: "The success of local enterprise partnerships in accessing funding suggests that some of them are now starting to engage better with business and it should provide them with the resources that many have been lacking to begin driving local growth."

Copyright Press Association 2012