Fund helps two firms as £5.7m is handed out to boost business

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CASH will be pumped into two companies from a £5.7m fund in a move due to be announced today by the deputy prime minister.

Gosport firms Vector Aerospace and North Sails are due to get the money from the Regional Growth Fund as Nick Clegg announces it will receive an extra £5.7m to support business.

Nick Clegg

Nick Clegg

Caroline Dinenage, Conservative MP for Gosport, has welcomed the cash injection and said Vector is to get £2m.

Ms Dinenage said: ‘This is really fantastic news for Vector Aerospace and the Gosport area more widely.

‘The company already provides critical support for military aircraft and this investment will help it to diversify its customer base and take on more skilled workers at its Gosport site.

‘Today’s announcement is a terrific boost for our local economy and shows that the government is committed to supporting our area reach its full potential.’

Business minister Matthew Hancock will visit Vector, an international aerospace maintenance company, today.

The firm saw 55 people working on Sea King helicopters take voluntary redundancy last year with another 52 people previously working on the aircraft moved to work on others at Fleetlands.

It has not been confirmed how much cash sailmaker North Sails is set to get.

Councillor Mark Hook, leader of Gosport Borough Council said he is delighted with the funding.

‘The money is great news for the Gosport peninsula,’ he said.

‘For North Sails, it will help them secure their European base in Gosport and we are delighted that we have their headquarters.

‘The funding will also protect existing jobs and enable it to take on more people.’

He added: ‘Vector Aerospace is looking to replace existing work contracts in what is a changing industry.

‘It will be good to see that funding in place to ensure it can remain in Gosport because it is one of our biggest employers.

‘So the funding is a really positive announcement for the town.’

The offers of cash are subject to due diligence and are conditional.

Deputy prime minister Mr Clegg said: ‘This investment has allowed regional businesses to be more ambitious than ever before and gone a long way in creating a stronger economy.’