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Growth fund guidance sets out key tests

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Minister have published updated guidance for applicants to the £1.4bn regional growth fund that sets out in more detail how dependence on the public sector is to be gauged.

The guidance for the three-year fund, which the government hopes will help boost private sector growth in areas heavily reliant on the public sector, sets out four key tests that the assessment panel for the RGF will use to determine an area’s dependence on the public sector.

The guidance states that these will be the percentage of working age residents claiming out of work benefits; the public sector employee job share; the number of active enterprises per 1,000 residents; and the private sector employee job growth.

The guidance states: “Taken together, such data will help us form a view of the current state of reliance on public sector employment. However, it will be important to consider other evidence, and bidders are asked to submit any other information they believe will help us in forming a good understanding of the relative reliance of the area the bid will cover.”

Around £235m will be available in the fund’s first bidding round, which closes in January.

The government has said that private firms, including social enterprises and public-private partnerships can bid, which new local enterprise partnerships - council and business-led bodies to be set up to replace the regional development agencies - expected to play a key role in coordinating bids.


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