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LONDON'S DECLINE PROMPTS EC AID PAYOUT BUT TOTAL FALLS SHORT

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Most of the national papers report on yesterday's formal EC recognition of London as an area in industrial decline ...
Most of the national papers report on yesterday's formal EC recognition of London as an area in industrial decline and the decision to include it in a £320 billion a year regional aid programme for the first time.

The Guardian (p5) reports Bruce Milan, the regional affairs commissioner, as saying that more than 500,000 people in the boroughs of Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest, would benefit from commission grants to create jobs over the next three years.

The European Commission also agreed to assist Thanet in Kent and parts of Plymouth and Merseyside, the Highlands and Islands are also included for the first time.

The Independent (p2) says that the EC disappointed UK ministers when it awarded regional development funds to the UK worth £1.4 billion over the next three years. The figure is reported as being far less than the government had wanted.

Industry minister Tim Sainsbury said that by securing 76% of what it had bid for the UK had fared better than almost any other state. But he complained the government had sought greater coverage of areas such as the East Thames corridor, and parts of Bristol, Derby and Leicester.
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