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MAJOR UK CITIES SHOULD SHARE£3.5 BILLION EU FUNDING

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Newcastle, Glasgow, Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester should be the focus of£3.5bn of European Structural Funding a...
Newcastle, Glasgow, Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester should be the focus of£3.5bn of European Structural Funding according to a new report by the Centre for Cities at the Institute for Public Policy Research, published today.

Recent European enlargement means that the money the UK gets from the EU for regional development will decrease from£11.5bn in 2000-2006 to£6.5bn from 2007-2013. The EU has already set aside£3bn for South Yorkshire, Merseyside, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, West Wales and the Valleys, and Scotland's Highlands and Islands.

The Centre for Cities report says that the remaining£3.5bn should be targeted on a small number of city-regions - areas with strong growth potential - over the next seven years. It argues that this would be the most effective way to use EU funds to help tackle regional disparities, create jobs and promote economic growth.

Dermot Finch, Centre for Cities director said: 'Our share of European Structural Funds is about to fall by more than 40%. We will need to do more with less. We should spend this last slice of EU money on high potential areas outside the South East. Concentrating EU funds in big northern cities, such as Newcastle and Leeds, will help to drive economic growth not just in those cities but across those regions.'

Last Orders! What the new EU budget means for Britain's cities by Adam Marshall and John Adams is available from www.ippr.org/centreforcities

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