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Nick Clegg announces Stobart and Pilkington Glass cash boost

Nick Clegg
Image caption Mr Clegg said he wanted the North West to become "a place where people make things again"

Two North West companies are to receive £14m in government funding to help boost employment, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said.

Haulage firm Stobart will receive £9m as a contribution towards a £139m expansion of its Widnes site.

Pilkington Glass, of St Helens, will get £5m as part of a £33m investment in new production techniques.

The government is targeting private sector growth in areas previously dependent on public sector jobs.

The money, from the Regional Growth Fund, was announced by Mr Clegg as he visited the North West on Tuesday.

'Number one priority'

The fund was increased by £1bn by Chancellor George Osborne in his Autumn Statement last week.

Mr Clegg has predicted the additional money will help create 500,000 jobs.

The investment at Stobart is hoped to create 3,450 jobs at the company itself and more than 1,200 indirectly, and the funding given to Pilkington Glass is set to create 254 jobs directly and more than 200 indirectly.

Mr Clegg said: "Creating long-term jobs and long-term growth is our number one priority for Britain.

"For too long, the UK economy has been too focused on the City of London and all too often this has been at the expense of places like Widnes and St Helens in the North West."

He added: "I want the North West to be a place where people make things again, where iconic businesses like Stobart and Pilkington can thrive.

"The Regional Growth Fund is unlocking private sector investment, with at least £5 put in for every £1 of public money.

"The fund is already helping the economy grow in every region and across a range of industries.

"Today I have also announced an additional £1bn boost for British businesses which means the Regional Growth Fund will create an estimated half a million jobs before the end of this Parliament."

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