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GOVERNMENT URGES EC TO RELAX REGIONAL AID RULES

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The government yesterday launched its bid to win EC regional aid aimed by areas hit by defence spending cuts, the F...
The government yesterday launched its bid to win EC regional aid aimed by areas hit by defence spending cuts, the Financial Times reports (p7).

It called on the European Commission to relax rules that prevent funds being allocated to prosperous parts of the country, such as the south west, where the decline in military jobs has led to large job losses.

Submitting an outline bid for £15 million of EC aid, the government said some part s of Britain worst hit by defence cuts might not qualify for aid if the Commission applied its structural funds objectives.

It is concerned that counties like Avon where an estimated 7,000 defence related posts have been lost in the past six years would not be eligible for part of the £100 million Konver fund.

The Western Development Partnership, the public and private sector forum which is supporting a joint bid for EC funding by Avon, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire warned that thousands more jobs would go if the Commission rejected the UK bid.
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