Merseyside firms are being encouraged to bid for funding to create new jobs after a Liverpool company received more than £10 million from the government’s Regional Growth Fund.

A total of £382 million has been awarded to businesses across the North West since the fund was set up in 2011, and £350 million is being made available nationwide from today (17 January 2013) in the latest round of funding.

The Regional Growth Fund has already helped 180 projects get started, creating and safeguarding local jobs and attracting significant private sector investment.

Liverpool drug development firm Redx Pharma has been allocated conditional funding of £4.7 million from Round 3 of the Regional Growth Fund for an initial two-year pre-clinical phase of a project targeting microbial infection, influenza, hepatitis C and HIV.

The company also secured £5.9 million from Round 2 of the fund to support a project to establish a state-of-the-art oncology research and development centre at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital. The project started in April 2012 and has since created over 60 new jobs.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:

“The Regional Growth Fund is already proving a shrewd investment by providing a welcome boost to jobs and growth across the country, with thousands of jobs created, businesses expanding into new markets and manufacturing new products. With this next round of funding, I would urge England’s budding businesses to produce top quality bids to access the money that can help them grow.

“There’ll be stiff competition, and we can only invest in those projects that will lead to sustainable jobs and the best value for money. Boosting jobs and growth is our number one priority for Britain right now. That is why I am so pleased to be opening a fourth round of the Regional Growth Fund which supports growth across a range of industries.”

Dr Neil Murray, Chief Executive of Redx Pharma, said:

“We are delighted to have been awarded a second grant from the Regional Growth Fund. Their support is critical in enabling Redx to create a sustainable business and adapt to the rapidly-changing R&D landscape in the pharmaceutical industry. We have strong partners in Liverpool in the city, the NHS and the Universities and we look forward to working with them as we take our infectious disease business forwards.

“The World Health Organisation has identified drug resistance, particularly in the area of anti-biotics, as one of the most pressing human health concerns globally. We believe that the fresh thinking and original approach that we apply will create effective solutions, generating new therapies that will benefit patients worldwide.”

Business Minister Michael Fallon added:

“The Regional Growth Fund is playing a pivotal role in supporting business and enterprise. Jobs are being created, money is being invested and the fund is making a difference. This additional round and the improved processes we have put in place will help keep the momentum going.

“I want more companies to come forward and apply to Round 4 or look out for similar opportunities through their local enterprise partnership.”

The Deputy Prime Minister confirmed that the Regional Growth Fund is progressing well with 180 projects having started (89 per cent). Projects from the first three rounds have pledged to create or safeguard over 500,000 jobs along with an injection of £13 billion private sector investment into the economy.

The Regional Growth Fund is helping to rebalance the economy by investing in companies that can create jobs and attract substantial match-funding from the private sector. For every pound of government money, the private sector is putting in six pounds.

Round 4 of the Regional Growth Fund will close to applications on 20 March at noon and bids will be appraised as quickly as possible. Potential applicants should look out for expressions of interest events in their region for support and further help with the application process. The first of these will be in Manchester on 31 January 2013 and is open to any organisation interested in bidding.

Selected bidders from Round 3 are currently agreeing terms and conditions for their final offers from the accelerated timetable which was announced in October 2012. This process and deadlines will be matched in Round 4 and all offers will be confirmed within six months.

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