HC Deb 31 March 1999 vol 328 cc722-3W
18. Mr. Rhodri Morgan

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on progress on obtaining EU structural funds for Wales. [78076]

Mr. Michael

I am pleased that the Council of Ministers meeting in Berlin last week agreed the Agenda 2000 proposals which include the regulations for the Structural Funds programmes for the Union from 2000–06. These programmes will include Objective 1 status for West Wales and the Valleys. Agreement of areas eligible for Objective 2 status is subject to further discussions with the UK according to the agreed regulations. The remaining areas of the Principality will secure Objective 3 support. The Berlin agreement is subject to ratification by the European Parliament.

20. Mr. Wigley

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what sum has he earmarked from within the Welsh block for 1999–2000, for spending on projects associated with European structural funds; and what is the figure for the current financial year. [78078]

Mr. Michael

The information is set out in the following table:

Mr. Hain

The Assisted Area is designated for the purpose of allocating aid to industry. The beneficiaries of that aid are companies seeking financial assistance toward investment projects which will create or safeguard employment in that area. All, or parts, of these authorities have been included in the Assisted Area since 1972. In that time a wide range of assistance, including grant aid, has been provided to companies by the Welsh Office, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Welsh Development Agency, the Development Board for Rural Wales, the Wales Tourist Board, the Training and Enterprise Councils, local authorities and other business development organisations. Information on all of these is not held centrally.

Grants offered since 1984 under Regional Selective Assistance (the main form of regional aid in Wales), the revised Regional Development Grant and Regional Enterprise Grant were as follows:

£ million
Former District of Alyn and Deeside1 Former County of Clwyd1 Flintshire2
Regional Selective Assistance 40.2 129.2 12.9
Regional Enterprise Grants3 1.9 6.0 0.4
Regional Development Grants4 43.4 119.4
1 Information up to 31 March 1996
2 Information since 1 April 1996
3 Regional Enterprise Grant scheme began 1 April 1988
4 Regional Development Grant scheme began 29 November 1984, closed 31 March 1988

Following the transfer of functions, this issue will be a matter for the National Assembly.

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