Commenting on the Commons public accounts committee’s report on the Regional Growth Fund, South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon, a senior member of the committee, said:
“The Regional Growth Fund (RGF) has the potential to deliver economic growth and new jobs, with a total fund value of £1.4 billion. However, so far the fund has paid out only one third of this sum and, of that, only £60 million has reached front-line projects.
“Most of the funds awarded so far are being held by ‘intermediary’ bodies, such as local authorities and public/private partnerships, who are sitting on hundreds of millions of pounds intended for front-line, economy-boosting projects. It is worrying that top civil servants with accountability to Parliament for the stewardship of the RGF cannot say for sure where intermediary bodies are holding this cash, or how much these intermediaries intend to skim off in management fees.
“Given the fact that so little money has reached front-line projects it is not surprising that the fund has not yet created many jobs; 5,204 posts created or safeguarded against a target of 36,779.
“Those in charge of the Regional Growth Fund must clarify what intermediaries are doing with their portions of the cash and ensure that where management fees are being levied, these are reasonable, justifiable and kept to a minimum”.
11 September 2012
PAC REPORT: The Regional Growth Fund