The North East is set to receive over £360 million worth of European funding over the next seven years to support economic development.
6.2 billion euros worth of European Regional Competitiveness and Employment funding will be available to all UK regions in the period 2007 to 2013, in the delivery of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and European Social Fund (ESF) programmes; the North East’s share is “the highest, per capita, of any region other than Northern Ireland”.
Pat Ritchie, Director of Strategy and Development at Regional Development Agency One NorthEast commented on the allocation: “We have known for some time that the way EU funding is to be awarded to established regions, like the North East, was changing and we have been preparing for this”.
“With new countries, like Hungary and Poland, joining the EU, the money that previously came to the North East for regeneration and infrastructure activities is now increasingly focused towards these accession countries. Money is still available to regions like the North East but Europe is placing a major emphasis on UK regions to deliver more “high-tech” activities that will increase competitiveness, create jobs and drive productivity as part of the EU’s Lisbon Agenda”.
“The ERDF element of £224m awarded to the region for the period 2007-2013 will be administered by One NorthEast and we will be working closely with partners in local authorities, the North East Assembly, the Government Office for the North East, the region’s universities and the voluntary and community sectors to prioritise funding”.
“The EU funds represent a welcome addition to the domestic resources available within the region and will be closely aligned with the RES so that they have maximum effect”.
“The RES Action Plan that we are developing with partners over the coming weeks will provide the detail and, importantly, set out what the region wants to achieve in terms of job creation and business growth from its spend”.
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