Why we're banking on a big return on this £20m
MANY of us will be glad to see the back of 2012 from an economic point of view, what with a seemingly never-ending spiral of job losses, cost-cutting, price rises and belt tightening.
It's not over yet. The Chancellor's imminent Autumn Statement is hardly expected to lift our national spirits.
But here in Derby, perhaps we can allow ourselves to look at the future with a little more optimism than most.
The city council – which is ironically going through its own challenges posed by a shrinking budget from the Government – is to channel £20 million of the £40 million it has received from the Government's Regional Growth Fund on boosting employment in our manufacturing and technology.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
It is envisaged that this Derby Enterprise Growth Fund, which is to be launched next week, will help create 2,200 jobs. That in itself won't turn our economy round but it will give it a much-needed shot in the arm and allow us to compete for business.
Today we report on three companies hoping to take part – vehicle engineers ASG, composite technology specialist Pentaxia, and rail business RVEL – and it is hoped that many more will follow. We wish them all the best.
But this is no giveaway; the council quite rightly wants payback. Leader Paul Bayliss compares the growth fund to a bank in that "we want a return on our investment".
That may be true but not too many banks have been behaving so generously in recent times – just ask our small businesses.
As Mr Bayliss adds : "We are not averse to taking risks and being entrepreneurial."
Are you listening, bankers?