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UK DEPRIVED AREAS SEEK EU FUNDING

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Four regions in the UK are seeking to be recognised as some of the most deprived areas in Europe and stand to gain ...
Four regions in the UK are seeking to be recognised as some of the most deprived areas in Europe and stand to gain billions of pounds in regional aid, the Financial Times reports (p10).

Cornwall, west Wales, inner London and the Scottish Highlands have qualified as regions in their own right and so can bid for European Union funds.

They claim they have all suffered long-term decline of traditional industries and should qualify for Objective 1 funding - the lion's share of the£120bn EU regional aid budget.

Meanwhile in a separate story (p10) the paper says regions in the north fear cuts of about 30% to England's£133m-a-year regional selective assistance budgets.

Northern MPs are seeking urgent talks with chancellor Gordon Brown over suggestions the region might lose this substantial regeneration funding under the government's comprehensive spending review to be announced this month.

Newcastle Central MP Jim Cousins is quoted as saying any cut would seriously undermine regeneration efforts in the north's depressed region.

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