Mandelson backs agencies

Posted on 18 Aug 2009 by The Manufacturer

Lord Mandelson has put his weight behind regional development agencies (RDAs) in their battle with Whitehall over venture capital funding.

In a stand-off that first began last September, the Treasury is reluctant to back the RDA’s pre-agreed sums of money because senior government figures think the money should be disseminated centrally rather than locally.

OneNorthEast has now finally had a £125m plan approved and Mandelson said he is now hoping a similar sum, the details of which are now being revised, will soon be granted for the North West RDA to work with.

Speaking of the RDA’s funds, “I would like these more quickly approved,” said Mandelson.

“I am concerned to see a growth in regional venture capital activity. Here I believe the regional development agencies could do more.

“I want to see a greater partnership between regional development agencies and private sector activity in the provision of venture capital. I believe the regional development agencies are building on a proven track record and they should be backed further.”

Mandelson and his backroom staff are also understood to be in the process of putting together a plan which would see RDA’s orchestrate and implement skills provisions for their individual areas.