§ Sir Paul Beresford
The Merseyside objective 1 programme has an allocation of £380 million, at current exchange rates, to be committed over the period 1994 to 1999; £51 million—14 per cent. of total ERDF funding—has so far been offered to 147 approved projects. Many of the approved projects are large-scale capital schemes that have expenditure profiles spread over the life of the programme. The projects have so far received £14.5 million in grant payments, broadly in line with their expected rate of spend. This represents 28 per cent. of funding committed. A further £158 million—42 per cent. of total ERDF funding—of ERDF grant towards 142 projects with similar spend profiles is under active consideration by the secretariat. New applications for funding will be invited over the first half of this year on a rolling basis.