David Cameron has insisted a high-profile Government scheme to provide millions of pounds to West Midlands businesses will be a success – even though firms still haven’t received a penny.
The Government announced in April that it was giving businesses including Jaguar Land Rover a share of a £400 million Regional Growth Fund to help create jobs.
Birmingham City Council was also promised £15.7 million to upgrade the A45 around Birmingham Airport, to help the airport enlarge its runway and bring in new customers.
The aim was to help private sector firms replace jobs lost in the public sector as a result of spending cuts, Ministers said.
And Mr Cameron highlighted the RGF scheme in his party conference speech earlier this month.
But no money has been paid out in the West Midlands – because the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills is still carrying out “due diligence” to ensure the cash isn’t wasted.
Labour leader Ed Miliband condemned the delay in the House of Commons this week.
But speaking to local newspapers including The Birmingham Post at Westminster, Mr Cameron said: “I’m impatient about everything in government. Everything in government takes longer than you want it to.
“There is a process of due diligence. You can’t just announce the award of money, hand out money and expect that to happen that rapidly.
“There has to be a proper process of due diligence where you make sure that entity that is receiving the money is in a fit state to receive it and spend it in the proper way.
“I’m very confident the regional growth fund will be a success story.”
Mr Cameron said he knew many families were struggling because of the state of the economy but predicted next year would be a great year for Britain because of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and the Olympics.
He said: “We have the Queen’s Jubilee – 60 years on the throne, years of incredible public service. I think there will be an incredible outpouring of support for Her Majesty the Queen and everything she stands for in public life and everything she’s achieved, the incredible way she does her job.
“And alongside this immense event, having the Olympics and Paralympics which look to be in a very good state – the stadium and everything finished in advance and on budget.
"It’s going to be an immense advert for Britain, for all that we do, for all that we stand for.
“So I think that despite all our difficulties, I hope people will lift their eyes to the horizon and look at next year as a great year for our country, a year we can get on top of our problems, get our economy moving and have confidence about our role in the world and the way people see our country.”