Alun Michael unveils a new plan for spending structural funds
in the UK
A wide-ranging consultation to identify the top UK priorities
for EU Structural Funds spending across the UK from 2007 to
2013 was launched today by Alun Michael, Minister of State
for Industry and the Regions.
Structural Funds are used to promote regional development
and employment. The new priorities are expected to include
a stronger focus on activities to support enterprise, innovation,
sustainable communities and sustainable development as well
as boosting skills and employment.
The UK is expected to receive approximately 9.4 billion
euros in Structural Funds between 2007 and 2013. This includes
2.6 billion euros for the poorest areas of the UK (Cornwall,
West Wales and the Valleys and the Highlands and Islands)
and 6.2 billion euros for other areas (including special allowances
for South Yorkshire and Merseyside). There is also 0.6 billion
euros for cross-border and trans-national projects.
The consultation asks for comments on:
||A draft 'National Strategic Reference Framework' for
future Structural Funds Programmes in the UK to establish
the broad priorities for Structural Funds spending across
the UK for the period 2007-2013;
||the Government's proposals for distributing the UK's
Structural Funds allocations under the new Competitiveness
||and future arrangements for delivery of the Funds.
The new National Strategic Reference Framework will provide
an overview of the economic strengths and weaknesses of the
UK's nations and regions and will be used to identify and
set out the main priorities for future Structural Funds Programmes.
Alun Michael said: "The Government is committed
to creating a modern and competitive economy. We need to ensure
that all parts of the country benefit from our increased economic
prosperity and employment. That's why the consultation I'm
announcing today is so important. We must ensure that the
European funding that we have been allocated contributes effectively
to our regional policy objectives. Our economic success depends
not just on the areas where wealth creation is already happening,
but also on sustainable regeneration in areas where local
economies are not performing as well. That is why it is vital
to establish the right framework for future Structural Funds
spending from 2007 to 2013."
The consultation ends on 22 May 2006.
For further information please contact 020 7215 5978 or visit
This consultation concerns the European Funding Programme
that will follow on from Objective One and will run from 2007
||The consultation document and draft National Framework
are available on the DTI website at: www.dti.gov.uk/europe/nsrf.html
||The draft Community Strategic Guidelines are available
on the European Commission website: www.europa.eu.int/comm/regional_policy/sources/docoffic/2007/osc/index_en.htm
||Convergence funding will replace Objective One funding
and Competitiveness and Employment funding will replace
Objectives Two and Three funding.
||The EU Member States are currently negotiating on four
new Structural Funds Regulations. These regulations will
establish the detailed rules for delivering the Structural
Funds in the 2007-2013 budgetary period and require a
more strategic approach to future Structural Funds spending.
Community Strategic Guidelines will determine the priorities
for the Funds at the European level and a series of National
Strategic Reference Frameworks will establish the priorities
within each Member State.
||The Government is consulting separately on the new Assisted
Areas Map for the UK, which will establish the areas eligible
for investment aid in the 2007-2013 budgetary cycle. This
will have implications for how and where public funds,
including the Structural Funds, can be used to support
investment within the UK. At the same time, DEFRA is currently
consulting stakeholders on the proposed priorities for
the next Rural Development Programme for England in the
2007-2013 Financial Perspective. The DTI is working with
DEFRA to ensure consistency in the deployment of these
||The consultation document on the new Assisted Areas
Map for the UK is available on the DTI website: www.dti.gov.uk/consultations/consultation-1593.html
and the consultation document on the future Rural Development
Programme for England is available on the DEFRA website:
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