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Last Updated: Monday, 23 October 2006, 16:00 GMT 17:00 UK
Regions to lose EU funding status
Artists impression of outside of proposed new Liverpool FC stadium
The redevelopment of the Anfield area will get EU funds
The Government has confirmed that two areas of the UK are to lose the special status that makes them eligible for European Union regeneration cash.

Merseyside and South Yorkshire are to lose their "Objective One" status funds, given to regenerate poor areas.

The areas will get transitional cash over the next seven years.

One of the final projects to get funds in Liverpool will be the regeneration of the Anfield area that will enable Liverpool FC to build a new stadium.

Merseyside will receive about 313m with South Yorkshire getting 276m - cash described as similar to the "parachute" payments Premier League football clubs get when they are relegated to the Championship.

Economic growth

To qualify for Objective One status areas had to have a Gross Domestic Product that was lower than 75% of the European Union's average.

Councillor Flo Clucas, executive member for Economic Development and Europe on Liverpool City Council, said Liverpool's loss of the status was due to the fact that its economy had improved and to the enlargement of the European Union from 15 to 25 countries.

She added: "But even if the EU had not grown we would not be eligible any more."

Not only had Merseyside received millions of pounds of EU funds to develop the area; this had also paved the way for other investment, Councillor Clucas said.

Future projects

"The Grosvenor development in Liverpool would not have taken place without the groundwork laid down by the European funding," said Councillor Clucas.

Among the projects which have received funds from the EU are the School of Tropical Medicine, the new Kings Dock Arena and St George's Hall in Liverpool, she went on.

One of the future projects to receive EU funding is the regeneration of the Anfield area and Stanley Park in Liverpool.

The funding for the environmental and infrastructure improvements involved this project had to be in place to enable Liverpool FC to build its new stadium.

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