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Last Updated: Monday, 23 October 2006, 17:27 GMT 18:27 UK
County to get 390m of Euro cash
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Cornwall is recognised by the EU as a poor area
Cornwall is to get nearly 390m in European funding over the next seven years, the government has announced.

The 580m euros (389m) is part of 540m of European Structural Funds being distributed across South West England until 2013.

The Regional Development Agency is to be in charge of distributing the cash for two new investment programmes.

The money will be used to improve the county's economy by encouraging more competition and productivity.

Regional disparities

The region is among the three poorest areas in the UK which are to benefit from the biggest share of funding.

Scotland's Highlands and Islands and West Wales and the Valleys were also targeted in the funding round.

The UK's overall allocation has been cut from 10.6bn over seven years to 6.7bn, as funding is directed towards the poorer new member states.

Industry Minister Margaret Hodge said the allocation formula aimed to tackle disparities in economic performance.

Ms Hodge said: "We are confident the rules we have drawn up will mean the money is used in the fairest way for every region. No one is excluded."

The Regional Development Agency said the money would support two new investment programmes, called Competitiveness and Convergence, in South West England for the seven years from 2007 until 2013.

The competitiveness programme is worth around 160m and will be available throughout South West England; apart from Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, where the convergence programme will be run with the 390m.

The agency said: "We will now be working with all our partners to determine what and where our collective priorities for investment should be."


SEE ALSO
EU funds target Highland economy
23 Oct 06 |  Highlands and Islands
Regions to lose EU funding status
23 Oct 06 |  Merseyside

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