Businesses looking to expand and create new jobs in Cheshire West and Chester are being urged by a leading local Lib Dem campaigner to apply for cash support from the Coalition Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF). A further £350 million from the Fund is available to help businesses grow. Applications were opened by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg on 17th January. The closing date is 20th March. Local campaigner Mark Williams is calling on local businesses to take full advantage of the fund to help boost local jobs. “There will be stiff competition for the money so businesses need to put in a good quality application. The minimum application is £1 million and businesses need to demonstrate that jobs will be created and other private money will be invested in the project as well. “Previous rounds will, once completed, bring in £13 billion of private sector investment and create and safeguard half a million jobs. Boosting growth and jobs is the top priority of the Coalition. Whilst the number of people without a job has been falling throughout most of 2012, we still do not have the growth in the economy we need. The Regional Growth Fund is one of the ways we can help the economy to grow. But we need local business to apply. If you run a business and are looking to expand, you should give serious consideration to making an application.” Businesses wanting to apply for RGF funding can find more details at www.gov.uk/understanding-the-regional-growthfund. RGF was set up with a focus on those areas of the country where areas of public sector employment were higher than average so that local economies could be rebalanced towards more private business. RGF was a key demand of the Liberal Democrats when they went into the Coalition Government in 2010.