£1.3bn RGF money “parked”

11 September 2012 The government’s management of the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) has been attacked by the Commons public accounts committee for failing to deliver significant investment.
According to the report, just £60m of the £1.4bn allocated under the scheme had reached frontline projects two years after the fund was established, with the rest “parked” in intermediary bodies such as local enterprise partnerships.

Committee chair Margaret Hodge added that only around 5,000 jobs had been either created or protected by the investment – far below the target of 36,800 over the life of the projects.

“Given the dire state of the economy, it is nothing short of scandalous that so few projects funded by the Regional Growth Fund have actually got off the ground,” she said.

The report also criticised the low threshold for projects to count as ‘value for money’ under the RGF, meaning some selected offered “at best marginal benefits” to taxpayers.

“It is unacceptable that the departments involved, despite decades of experience with similar programmes, still do not know how they will evaluate the success or otherwise of the fund in producing jobs and growth,” added Hodge.

This page was last updated on:
22 May 2015.

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