UK Government aid attracts £3.4 billion

As a result of 572 Regional Selective Assistance grants totalling £408 million, £3.8 billion of business investment was secured for the UK over the past year.

A new report from the UK Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) shows that, as a result of 572 Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) grants totalling £408 million, £3.8 billion of business investment was secured for the UK over the past year (2000/2001).

Through RSA, the UK Government offers selective grants to firms investing in ‘Assisted Areas’ and creating or safeguarding jobs. Many projects benefiting from RSA would not go ahead in the UK without grant aid because of their international mobility.

Flagship projects benefiting from Government Assistance over the past year include a £5 million RSA grant to S&A Foods for the creation of a new food processing facility in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire. That deal brought 1,077 jobs to the region.

Also benefiting was US computer software company Insight Direct Worldwide, who chose Sheffield as the location for its European HQ. The company’s £67 million capital investment, which will create 1,700 jobs for the region by 2007, was secured by a £15 million RSA grant.

The DTI ‘Industrial Development Act Annual Report’, as it is called, also covers the first full year of the Enterprise Grant Scheme in England, which came into operation in January 2000, and the Invest for Growth Scheme in Scotland which was launched in July 2000.

The Enterprise Grant and Invest for Growth Schemes made a total of 554 offers to SMEs in England and Scotland – totalling £18 million towards associated project costs of £140 million during 2000/01.

In the 1999/2000 timeframe, 1,226 offers of RSA were accepted totalling £305 million. This was towards associated project costs of £2.2 billion, and was forecast to create 48,133 jobs and safeguard a further 18,898 jobs.

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