The future of Group Lotus is looking more upbeat after it was revealed the Norfolk firm is to get an estimated £10 million cash injection from the government’s regional growth fund (RGF).
Business secretary Vince Cable revealed the news to the Eastern Daily Press. He told the paper: “We have now agreed the regional growth fund for Lotus. It was a few weeks ago that we finally signed off on it. There is a lot of detail still to grind through, but we have basically approved the bid.”
Group Lotus is not officially commenting on Cable’s revelation. Autocar sources have revealed the fresh application was submitted some weeks ago and has now been agreed in principle, with only due diligence left to complete, as Cable alluded to.
Under former boss Dany Bahar, Lotus submitted an application to get £10m from the RGF two and a half years ago. This was to fund development of five new cars, a plan that’s been put on ice following Bahar’s exit last year.
The application for the RGF was put on hold and has now been reprised under Lotus’s new management team, headed by Aslam Farikullah. The amount of money is understood to be similar to the original £10m, although sources remain coy on an exact figure and what it would be used for. This is to avoid any speculation about a new ‘plan’ for Lotus following the failure of Bahar’s proposals.
The RGF is designed for new jobs and training, and for R&D projects, suggesting Lotus still plans to expand its line-up.
Cable revealed that the government’s investments of around £1 billion from the RGF have led to around £6bn of investment from the private sector, with the car industry a particular beneficiary.