UK Cornish pasty firm Proper Cornish has secured GBP1.5m (US$2.4m) in government funding that, it said, will enable the business to expand and create jobs.

The investment has been secured from the Business Catalyst Fund, which is funded by the Government's Regional Growth Fund and aims to attract match funding from the private sector.

Mark Muncey, national account manager for Proper Cornish, told just-food today (22 January) that the company will use the funding to invest in consolidating and expanding its production facilities.

"We've put a proposal together to build a modern new bakery. Currently we're situated in six or seven units and we want to migrate those into one modern 40,000sq ft existing building. The existing ones are spaced out and not as efficient."

Muncey said the investment offers the company, which supplies Cornish pasties to the retail and foodservice sectors, "more flexibility and capacity".

"The business wants to grow and we are starting to squeak quite a bit, so this gives us a five-year strategy of growth within this new building. It also secures jobs and we are looking to employ a further 50 members of staff in the next two years in all areas of the business."

Launching the fourth round of the RGF last week, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: "The Regional Growth Fund is already proving a shrewd investment by providing a welcome boost to jobs and growth across the country, with thousands of jobs created, businesses expanding into new markets and manufacturing new products. With this next round of funding, I would urge England's budding businesses to produce top quality bids to access the money that can help them grow."

Clegg called on businesses to bid for a share of the GBP350m fund.