While the economy continues to struggle, over £1.2bn of money earmarked to help stimulate some of England’s least prosperous regions is lying unspent, and no one seems to be shouting out about it. The money comes from the European Regional Development Fund which is meant to help promote investment growth and jobs in those regions whose economic performance is weaker. In Wales and Scotland, monies allocated from the EU are largely committed. It is not the same case in England, where the EU allocated the regions £2.9bn in the current spending round (2007-13). The Industrial Communities Alliance has discovered that with only two years to go a staggering £1.2bn of ERDF money lies unallocated. Why is this? Part of the reason lies with the abolition of the regional development agencies. Not only did the RDAs administer this funding, their budgets for economic development provided the main source of match funding … (To read the full article, subscribe below)
Joan Dixon is principal policy officer at the Industrial Communities Alliance.
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