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The Government is today launching an informal consultation to seek views from businesses, local communities and other organisations on how EU Structural Funds, Rural Development Funds and Fisheries Funds can be used to support growth in England

The aims of the individual EU funds are:

  •     Structural Funds (European Regional Development Funds and European Social Funds) - to reduce disparities that still exist between regions and improve employment opportunities.

  •     Rural Development Funds (European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development) - to improve the competitiveness of agriculture, the sustainable management of natural resources and climate action, and a balanced territorial development of rural areas.

  •     Fisheries Funds - to promote sustainable and competitive fisheries and aquaculture industry.

The informal consultation is being launched today (28th March 2012) and will close on 27th April 2012.

Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk said:

I want to ensure that we make the most of EU funds to support creation of sustainable jobs and growth across the country.

“As well as providing direct economic investment, these funds also provide valuable support to the management of the natural environment in England in both rural and urban areas.

“This informal consultation will allow us to hear the views of industry and stakeholders on what our approach should be to ensure these funds drive growth across the country.”

Businesses, local authorities, voluntary groups, non-government organisations, universities and local enterprise partnerships are being asked for their views on how the Government can more effectively exploit the funds to drive growth and create jobs.

The European Commission proposals for the next funding round (2014-2020) are still subject to negotiation, but the key changes proposed will allow much greater flexibility to tailor the funds to the specific economic challenges faced in different areas. The Government wants to ensure there is maximum potential value of the EU money for taxpayers.

While the size of these funds is still being negotiated, in the current EU budget (2007-13) England receives approximately £8 billion of funding.

Having taken into account the views of stakeholders from the informal consultation, the Government will launch a formal public consultation in 2013 on the proposed approach the UK will take in delivery of the funds.

Written by Scott Buckler
Wednesday, 28 March 2012 14:02

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