Regional development

Fifty companies will receive funding from a £450 million pot from the government's regional growth fund.

The coalition hopes the companies who successfully bid for government funding will help promote growth across the UK.

The projects that won backing include plans to expand the Haribo factory in Wakefield, the development of a former eye factory in Manchester and General Motors' proposal to build its new Vivaro van in Luton.

The government argued the funding would create 27,000 direct jobs, with a further 100,000 jobs created indirectly.

But Labour criticised the government for scrapping the regional development agencies, arguing the coalition has not invested enough money in regional projects.

The second round of bidding for the remaining £1 billion of the regional growth fund will now begin.

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