§ Mr. John Marshall
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he will present to the European Commission the Government's proposals for directing future European structural funds assistance towards regions in England seriously affected by industrial decline; and if he will make a statement.
§ Sir George Young
I have arranged for the regional conversion plans for the nine regions in England designated by the Commission for assistance under structural funds objective 2 to be presented to the European Commission today. Funding under objective 2 contributes towards the development of regions (including employment areas and urban communities) seriously affected by industrial decline. The plans cover the period 1994–96, for which £1,195 million has been allocated to England.
The nine regions, with 1994–96 allocations, are North East England, £239 million; West Cumbria and Furness, £19 million; Yorkshire and Humberside, £243 million; East Midlands, £62 million; West Midlands, £287 million; Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cheshire, £255 million; East London and Lee Valley, £57 million; Thanet, £11 million; and Plymouth, £22 million.
The plans have been lodged in time to ensure that the eligible date for expenditure on objective 2 programmes is 1 January 1994. Under the Structural Funds Regulations, the Commission is required to reach a decision on the plans within six months of receipt.