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European billions to help with regeneration in counties

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: April 01, 2013

European billions to help with regeneration in counties

Comments (9)

Cornwall and Devon will be among the English regions to get the biggest share of more than £5 billion of European Union regeneration cash to boost the poorest areas of the 27-nation bloc.

But all parts of the UK are facing a 5% cut in support over the next six years from Brussels' "structural funds", broadly in line with the overall cut to the EU budget negotiated by national governments last month.

Since last year, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have been expecting to receive the highest level of hand-out available as the area remains in the category of the most impoverished corners of Europe.

In February, David Cameron confirmed Devon as one of 11 UK regions to get the second- highest level of support available – a status that was in doubt and risked leaving the area's economy being overtaken by neighbouring Cornwall's.

Since the mid-1990s, around £1 billion of "structural funds" have been pumped into Cornwall, which has paid for one of the fastest broadband connections in Europe, the development of Newquay Airport and the Combined Universities in Cornwall project.

A breakdown of how much each area will receive was due to be announced shortly after the £6 billion figure was confirmed by ministers for the first time.

Sir Graham Watson, Liberal Democrat MEP for the South West, said: "It is not surprising that with a real terms cut in the overall budget, regional growth funding would also follow suit.

"I welcome the Government's continued commitment to giving regions the power to invest funds in creating new jobs and stimulating economic growth." He added: "Cornwall is a net beneficiary of the European Union, to the tune of around £21 million a year in direct funding and millions as a result of this extra investment.

"We wait to see the final figures for how much Devon and Cornwall will receive as part of the extra funding the two counties are entitled to."

In March, official figures revealed Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is still below 75% of the European average – meaning it is in line for seven more years of help from next year.

The GDP of Cornwall and the Scillies was 71.9% of the European average in 2009, meaning it remains poorer than parts of Romania, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.

A category of regions "in transition", which have a GDP between 75% and 90% of the EU average, stand to get funding, but not on the same scale. Across the Tamar, Devon qualifies as it recorded output at 86.5%. But recent research showed that, in areas of Devon, including Torbay, North Devon, and Teignbridge, there is significant higher risk of sliding into poverty compared to Cornwall and the rest of the UK.

Business Minister Michael Fallon said Scotland will receive a total of around 795 million euros (£677 million) for the period 2014-20, Northern Ireland 457 million euros (£389 million), Wales 2.145 billion euros (£1.83 billion) and England 6.174 billion euros (£5.26 billion).

He added: "EU structural funds are important for supporting economic activity. The EU formula would have seen several areas in most need of funds lose out, so we have taken the decision to correct that."

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  • AnGof1955  |  April 03 2013, 9:38AM

    What I want to know is how much of this money will be sucked out of the area for 'Administration' costs. Here in Cornwall we have seen it all before, millions of pounds targeted to improve our lot in life lost from our Economy to those leaches up country. Before this Government, Cornwall paid £300 million pounds a year more to Westminster than we got back. Now Cornwall Council is another £540 million short over four years. Just a few years of this money would turn Cornwall around forever, roll on a Cornish Assembly.

    |   -8
  • eu_blues  |  April 02 2013, 9:49PM

    European billions to help with regeneration in counties This is Cornwall It's April Fools day all over again or a bad nightmare reapting itself. The CON is back on...

    |   -6
  • davyth1  |  April 01 2013, 4:25AM

    I'm glad money is distributed from the EU. London politicians couldn't give a damn about Devon and Cornwall. If London held all the purse strings again all that money would be focused on London and the South East... you only have to look at the pathetic state of roads between the far south west and the rest of the country, the decrepid railway system and the fact all the money in Westminster is being spent on a rail link from London to the North. The South West peninsular will always be forgotten - inlcuding by UKIP who simply want Westminster to run the show.... We need decentralised government. I for one back home rule (within the UK) for Cornwall and I think Devon should have the same!

    |   18
  • robzrob  |  March 30 2013, 9:48PM

    @ Lafrowda. Vote nobody and let each individual decide what to do with her/his property.

    |   -15
  • break  |  March 30 2013, 9:24PM

    Well,Camborne has had quite a few millions spent on 'regenerating' it and the only people that benefict from it are the housing developers and other rich types,with their harebrained get rich quick schemes.Theres too many historic places here that have been demolished in the name of 'regeneration',get someone who knows what they're doing in charge of our money,before we start paying them more money.

    |   -15
  • DipStick  |  March 30 2013, 6:42PM

    @Lafrowda: it's because someone has discovered cookies ..... ignore them! As for the EU, the budget wasn't cut at all no matter what Cameron said. See here .... http://tinyurl.com/bsa567k ..... """... The European Commission proposed on Wednesday additional EU spending of 11.2 billion euros (£9.5 billion) this year, to fill a funding gap that threatens to delay agreement on the bloc's next long-term budget. ... """ So, they want an increase which is greater than the so-called bail-out of Cyprus? The sooner we're out the better! DS

    |   -27
  • Lafrowda  |  March 30 2013, 1:55PM

    How come I get 23 & counting red arrows when no one has put an opposing arguement ? This forum has no credibility.

    |   -34
  • roverdale  |  March 30 2013, 11:28AM

    Lafrowda, that applies to most things governments gets their mucky hands on. Take the motorists, they are charge huge ammounts for everything they do connected with their vehicle, yet they never ever get a fair usage of the income, it goes to many other places unconnected with motoring.

    |   -20
  • Lafrowda  |  March 30 2013, 9:51AM

    My neighbour was complaining that I robbed him of 20% of his pay every month. So I generously allowed him 5% to aleviate his poverty. That is how the E.U. works my friends. VOTE UKIP and decide ourselves what to do with our GDP.

    |   -57