Devastating news for those behind the Solent Ocean Energy Centre (SOEC) today, as their bid for over £21m investment from the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) was rejected.
The development of Solent Futures focused on supporting “sustainable economic growth through labour market engagement, green technologies and innovation and growth to enable higher levels of employment.”
The two schemes under this umbrella included the Solent Apprenticeship Training Agency (SATA), an employer-led apprenticeship training agency with a focus on small to medium sized businesses, and the Solent Ocean Energy Centre (SOEC), a project aimed at enhancing the UK’s marine current energy capabilities.
Massive blow for future job growth
The SATA was looking for an investment of £400,000 from the Regional Growth Fund, with the aspiration of creating 600 apprenticeship opportunities and 542 direct new jobs into sustainable employment.
According to the £21.4m bid for the SOEC, as well as developing an onshore technology centre for research, development and the manufacture of tidal turbines, it also had the potential to create 4,800 direct and indirect jobs on the Island.
The Solent LEP bid also included over £26m for three projects under the Solent Gateway umbrella. As with Solent Futures, this bid which included enhancements to Junction 5 of the M27; the Platform Road Improvement Scheme and development of a new link road from the A3M, was also rejected.
What’s the Regional Growth Fund?
The Regional Growth Fund (RGF) is a discretionary £1.4bn Government fund that will operate for three years between 2011 and 2014 to stimulate enterprise.
We’ve contacted David Pugh for a comment.
This is only the first of a minimum of two bidding rounds, so it may be possible that the schemes are approved at a later date.