Commenting on a report that described the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) as a “scandalous” failure released today (11th September 2012) by the Commons Public Accounts Committee, Tom Blenkinsop MP labelled the scheme an ‘evidently poor replacement for Regional Development Agencies’.
The report claims that only 2400 jobs have been created so far by the £1.4 billion scheme with only £60 million of that reaching the frontline projects.
“This scathing report into the performance of RGF brings to the front the incompetence of the Government when it comes to generating the growth needed to get the economy back on track. They are failing businesses who could be the sparks that get people back into work and getting us out of this double dip recession.
“It is particularly depressing news for North East firms who are not getting the support they require to succeed after the Regional Development Agency – One North East (ONE) – was abolished. Whilst the RGF is a centrally run scheme ONE was a well-established agency with local knowledge and expertise and had strong links to North East businesses and industry.
“Hopefully this report, by a committee that has two Teesside MPs from the Coalition as members, will act as a catalyst for the Government to get a grip of the scheme and ensure that the funding is getting to businesses that require it. If not the economy will continue to fail.”