Friday 19 October 2012

Regional Growth Fund (Round III)

I am in the US, so haven't had much time to read the details on which projects will get the next lot of RGF money. On a first pass, I think my more detailed analysis of RGF round 2 remains valid:
  • If £1bn of RGF really safeguards or creates 240,000 it is an incredibly effective scheme;
  • That's a very big 'if'. Incomplete monitoring will mean that it is highly likely much of the 'leveraged' private sector funds ('£6 for every £1 of public money') would have been spent anyhow. This is especially the case with money given to larger firms;
  • If all of government truly believed these numbers you might expect to see a lot more spending on RGF.
In short, I remain to be convinced that these numbers stack up.

[NB: interesting to see so £358m going to Local Authorities or Enterprise Partnerships this time round. If I remember correctly, in my submission to the original RGF consultation I argued that roughly a third of the money should be allocated to LEPs. Third time lucky.]