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BRUSSELS RULING THREATENS LAND REGENERATION SCHEME

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Brussels could block a government scheme to develop derelict industrial land using grants to developers from a rege...
Brussels could block a government scheme to develop derelict industrial land using grants to developers from a regeneration agency.

A report in the Financial Times (p6) says the European Commission has ruled grants by English Partnerships to car manufacturers and other industries are unlawful subsidies.

If the scheme is designated as state aid the grants could only be given in parts of the country designated assisted areas.

The Partnership Investment Programme generates£600-700m a year of private investment.

The government is defending the scheme, arguing payments are minimal and designed to deal with land problems and local property market failures only.

Stephen Byers, industry secretary, is due to meet competition comissioner Mario Monti in the next few weeks.

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