§ Sir David Steel
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he expects funds from the EC aid programme the borders objective 5b scheme to be made available to the appropriate authorities for distribution in the borders region; and what measures he is taking to ensure that receipt of funds is as soon as possible. 
§ Mr. Lang
I understand the Commission will take the formal decision on the borders objective 5b single programme document before the end of April. To facilitate early release of funds, the monitoring committee met on 20 April and decided in principle which projects should be supported in the first round of applications under the programme. Formal offer letters will be issued to successful project sponsors immediately after the decisions of the committee are ratified, following the formal decision. Successful applicants can then claim structural funds grant against progress on their projects.