The University of Derby is set to receive millions of pounds from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) to fuel business expansion and help create or safeguard thousands of jobs in the East Midlands.
The RGF will invest £20 million in three projects in the East Midlands, a large proportion of which is going to the University for its ‘Invest-2-Innovate’ programme, the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced.
The East Midlands investment is part of £300 million announced nationally for Round 5 of the RGF, a Government scheme to create sustainable employment and growth in a wide range of sectors across the country.
The University will use the fund to support innovation in the region by investing in companies and providing financial support, but will also use its resources to work with them and provide the time, the talent and the technology to innovate.
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, Professor John Coyne, said: “This news is a tremendous vote of confidence in our region. We are delighted that the University is set to receive this multi-million pound investment, which will enable companies in Derby, Derbyshire and the wider region to grow and flourish.
“It will benefit companies that need funding or other support to innovate and accelerate growth, particularly those companies that have the potential to become high value incoming generating businesses.
“The funding is something that is desperately needed, especially in a fast growing region such as ours where companies are trying to grow but are struggling to get help from the banks.
“Investing in these companies will create high value jobs in the region, which will help to retain our best graduates and attract others, creating a pipeline of young talent to the region”.
Derby City Council Leader, Paul Bayliss, said: “This is terrific news for the University of Derby, local businesses and Derby City Council. This award will provide further investment and job growth opportunities to local businesses. We have a proven track record with the current Derby Enterprise Growth Fund and, whilst this next generation of investments will be led by the University, my Officers and I will work hard with them and our other partners to make sure we continue to help the Derby economy to grow.”
David Ralph, Chief Executive of D2N2, the Local Enterprise Partnership for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, said: “The Government’s Regional Growth Fund has been a really important scheme across the LEP area of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, whether that is direct to D2N2 businesses or through programmes such as Global Derbyshire, Unlocking Investment for Growth or the Derby Enterprise Growth Fund.’