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UK sports car firm left behind in state cash handout

Lotus has been left disappointed after its application for £27.5m of state funding has been rejected.

The Norfolk sports car maker hoped the cash from the Regional Growth Fund would help it to expand its production facilities and invest in R&D, creating 1,200 new jobs.

It said it may apply again for a chunk of the £950m left in the £1.4bn fund.

A statement from the company read: “Despite the clear synergies between Lotus’s growth plans and the fund’s objectives to enable private sector organisations to invest in projects that would create jobs and secure long-term growth, the bid team decided that the money was better invested elsewhere.”

“Lotus’s original bid application was for a £27.5m loan which would have been put to good use in research and development, crucially allowing Group Lotus to release capital previously allocated to R&D to build the new production plant therefore creating approximately 1200 additional jobs.”

Other car manufacturers were successful with their bids through the RGF – a scheme which is designed to help private sector businesses in areas particularly prone to public sector spending cuts to grow.

General Motors bid successfully for cash to rework its van making Luton factory to get it ready for production of the new Vivaro model while grants were also approved for Nissan, Jaguar Land Rover and Bentley Motors.

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