Stoke & Staffordshire

Engineering firm Alstom's £4m cash boost in Stafford

Engineering company Alstom has been awarded £4m by the government's Regional Growth Fund for its research facilities in Stafford.

The money has been awarded for an investment programme at its Alstom Grid facilities.

The firm said the money would help fund research and development projects.

The government is promising to create or safeguard more than 100,000 jobs in England with the investment of £450m from the fund.

The plans were announced by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

Training and development

Fifty bids for support from firms and partnerships have been provisionally accepted by the Regional Growth Fund.

Alstom's employs 1,400 people at the Lichfield Road and St Leonards Avenue sites in Stafford.

It has about 5,000 of its 6,500 UK employees working out of Midlands-based locations, including Stafford, Rugby in Warwickshire, Ashby-de-la-Zouch in Leicestershire, Derby, Birmingham and Wolverhampton.

In Cheshire, Crewe-based Bentley Motors will also get a share of the Regional Growth Fund.

The firm has said it applied for £1.68m for money to support its training and development, but did not know how much of that figure had been awarded to the company.

The Prince's Regeneration Trust also said it had been successful in the first round of bidding for the Regional Growth Fund, with the award being for the regeneration of Middleport Pottery in Stoke-on-Trent.

The Regional Growth Fund was created last year to replace the nine Regional Development Agencies which were set up by Labour but axed by the coalition.

Labour said the coalition had actually cut funding for regional growth by two thirds, putting many jobs at risk.

The rest of the growth fund, which adds up to £1.4bn over three years, will be allocated later following a second round of bids, which opened on Tuesday.

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