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Molecular Profiles is only Notts-Derbys firm to win Government RGF money

A Nottingham firm has been given a major boost today after Business Secretary Vince Cable confirmed it had been provisionally successful in a bid for some £1.6 of Government cash.

The Government announced that Molecular Profiles Ltd, which is based on the Nottingham Business Park, was the only company in Notts to have successfully levered money out of the Government's Regional Growth Fund.

The group, which develops pharmaceutical products, will use the investment to help it expand its base in Nottingham that it hopes will deliver 65 jobs.

Molecular Profiles chief executive Dr Nikin Patel explained that the new development would also be built at the Nottingham Business Park.

Its total cost will be £10 million, with £1.6 million potentially coming from the Government and the rest coming from the company, he said.

"This project wouldn't have gone ahead unless we had this contribution from the regional growth fund," said Dr Patel.

"The investment will enable us to enter a new market. We have been very successful in terms of growth, but to significantly expand our operation we needed to take a significant increase in capacity – the fund's contribution makes that possible."

The coalition set up the £1.4 billion Regional Growth Fund in 2010 to be paid out over three years to businesses, councils, charities and community groups wanting to fund recession-busting projects in their area. But at the same time, it cut other funding streams from regional development agencies that were worth £1.4 billion annually.

In the first round of fund payments, ministers said £450 million would be handed out. But across the whole of England, 464 projects had requested £2.78 billion – almost double the entire fund's three-year budget.

The Molecular Profiles bid was the only one of 38 projects – bidding for a total of £112 million – from Notts and Derbyshire to be successful.

It was also only one of two projects in the East Midlands to get any money. The region had fewer projects approved for investment than almost any other.

Chief executive of the Notts and Derbyshire Chamber of Commerce George Cowcher said: "Whilst this is fantastic news for Chamber member Molecular Profiles, a high-growth company in Nottingham, to only have one successful bid for Regional Growth Fund cash is hugely disappointing. We were expecting at least four successful bids across the two counties, so this news has come as a blow.

"What we need now is clarity on why the bids have failed, as what we don't know is whether they were weak bids or if they were wide of the mark, especially given that the original guidance from Government for Regional Growth Fund bidding was so vague.

"Bidding for a second round of funding comes to an end soon and careful attention must now be paid to all future bids from Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire to ensure the two counties don't miss out a second time."

Mr Cable said he was sure the bids that were successful would be able to deliver jobs and growth in the private sector.

But when questioned over the low number of successful bids from the region, he said: "It's certainly not an attempt to discriminate against the East Midlands.

"The deciding panel were trying to maintain a regional balance to reach regional objectives and, certainly, the East Midlands was regarded as an entirely legitimate priority. We hope that in the second round there will be significantly more projects we can help."

Molecular Profiles' bid will have to go through a due diligence process before being confirmed by the Government.

Source: This is Business

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