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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 April, 2004, 18:49 GMT 19:49 UK
Euro cash boost for regeneration
Rhondda Valley (picture courtesy of freefoto.com)
West Wales and the valleys have received 54m
Regional projects to improve and regenerate poorer areas of the UK have been given a 457m cash injection, the European Commission has announced.

The extra cash, held back until this year, has been awarded to EC-funded projects deemed to have performed well.

The EC says the money will "provide an additional boost to investment, growth and job creation".

The Structural Funds programmes aim to "improve the living conditions of citizens" in deprived areas of Europe.

EU funds have helped generate job creation, provide training and boost enterprise across the UK
Jim Dougal

The money will be used on such areas as regenerating town centres, supporting innovation, research and development, employability programmes and helping small and medium-sized businesses.

A programme in west Wales and the valleys, which includes strategies for rural development and sustainability, received the most of any UK project with 54m.

Merseyside has received 37m, South Yorkshire 33m, the Scottish highlands 13m and Northern Ireland 26m.

'Build on progress'

Jim Dougal, head of the EC in the UK, said: "EU funds have helped generate job creation, provide training and boost enterprise across the UK. This extra money will be a welcome addition to build on that progress."

The Structural Funds initiative involves 200 programmes from all over the European Union.

The performance-related system meant that programmes which reached agreed effectiveness, management and financial targets received further funding.

The performance of British programmes was judged by the UK Government, in consultation with the EC.


SEE ALSO:
Extra 65m Euro cash for Wales
01 Apr 04  |  Wales
County to receive 17m of EU cash
31 Mar 04  |  Cornwall


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