§ Mr. Frank Field
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list all the European Union's funds, programmes or grants available for local authorities or others to apply for in respect of the regeneration of deprived and depressed areas; how these link to the single regeneration budget; and where details of all these funds, programmes or grants, including the criteria for successful applications, are made publicly available.
§ Mr. Baldry
The principal sources of European funding available to local authorities and others in respect of the regeneration of deprived and depressed areas are two of the European Community structural funds. These are the European regional development fund and European social fund. As grants from the structural funds normally contribute part of the total cost of a project, the single regeneration budget will provide an important source of matching funding. Both programmes will be administered by Government offices in the regions.
Regional plans for the Merseyside objective 1 area, covering 1994–99; objective 2—areas in industrial decline—for 1994–96; and objective 5b—rural areas—for 1994–99, are currently being considered by the European Commission. Once these have been agreed, the formal arrangements for considering project applications, such as selection criteria, can be determined. Details of EC regulations and decisions relating to the funds are published in the Official Journal of the European Communities, and information about programmes and guidance for applicants, can be obtained from the Government offices in the regions.