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21.12.05
New European regeneration programme for Cornwall

Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly can plan for another major regeneration programme funded by the EU following a deal reached by the Prime Minister in Brussels last week.

Alun Michael, Minister of State for Industry and the Regions, today announced to Parliament that the deal on the EU budget agreed by member states last week is likely to provide Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly with a Convergence programme approximately a third larger than the current Objective One programme.

The Objective One programme is due to be completed at the end of 2008 but it is hoped that the new Convergence programme will be able to start in early 2007.

Partners in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have already started to consider the priorities that the new programme should tackle, linked to the revision of the county's economic strategy, "Cornwall Strategy and Action". This work is allied to wider preparations across the South West for new EU 'Competitiveness' and 'Co-operation' programmes and the South West's Regional Economic Strategy. It will also build on work carried out earlier this year in response to an invitation from the Treasury to partners with an interest in Cornwall to identify the key lessons from the experience of the current Objective One programme.
Government Ministers will be considering in 2006 the most appropriate arrangements for the management of the new programmes.

Under the terms of the new Structural Fund arrangements all EU Member States have to produce a National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) to set the broad objectives for future programmes. The Government plans to consult on the UK's draft NSRF early in 2006.

For further information please contact Wailim Wong on 01752 635053.

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Editor's notes:

1 - The budget deal has yet to be agreed by the European Parliament,

2 - The current Objective 1 programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is worth £350 million of EU grant at current exchange rates.

3 - The current Objective 1 programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is managed by the Government Office for the South West in close co-operation with a wide range of partners, including South West Regional Development Agency, Cornwall County Council, other local authorities, private, voluntary and community sector representatives, Central Government Departments and the European Commission.

4 - The consequences of the budget deal for other parts of the South West under the Competiveness and Co-operation headings will not be known until the conclusion of further discussions between the UK Government and the European Commission in 2006.

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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