Mark A Williams, Chairperson of Chester Liberal Democrats welcomes the news that the Regional Growth Fund will be used to protect and create jobs in the North West. The Liberal Democrats in Government have given a grant to University of Chester for the Catalyst for Growth project. This will help create some of the 11,128 jobs in the North West announced today “This is an excellent example of Liberal Democrats in government investing wisely to create jobs and a stronger economy” Mr Williams said More than half-a-billion pounds of funding to create jobs and growth across England was announced by Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg as part of the fourth round of the RGF. 102 projects and programmes have been selected for conditional RGF support of £506 million. This is more than the £350m announced in the Autumn Statement as we have used further recycled funds to support more of the large number of high quality applications for investment. Regional spread is well distributed as in other rounds – the majority of RGF support will go to the North West, West Midlands, Yorkshire & Humber and North East, areas most needing this support for growth. In Round 4, £314m will go directly to the private sector, comprising 60 awards to companies and 12 to private sector run RGF programmes. £192m has been awarded to 30 other programme beneficiaries such as local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships to support local growth priorities in their areas. The Fund is good value for money and delivers funding to parts of the country that need it most - approximately £5.50 of private sector leverage for every £1 of public money. Announcements today are the next stage in the process. Selected firms now work through due diligence and unconditional offers will be finalised by the end of January 2014. We have created or safeguarded more than 51,000 jobs and levered in £839m private sector investment. We know small and medium enterprises are key to growth: RGF programmes run by intermediaries at national and local level distribute funds to smaller projects and are our way of empowering local decision making and reaching out to smaller firms. To date, over 2,600 SMEs have received cash from the Fund via RGF programmes. The Liberal Democrats are building a stronger economy in a fairer society, enabling every person to get on in life.