HC Deb 21 July 2000 vol 354 cc356-7W
Sir Teddy Taylor

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what assistance will be provided to local councils in England which have had areas classified as having Objective 2 status following the spending review. [131913]

Ms Beverley Hughes

When the guidelines for the Objective 2 programmes were drawn up, it was agreed that any funds provided by the EU would have to be "matched" by corresponding funds drawn from the public and private sector of the member state.

In England it was decided that to emphasise the fact that the drawing up and implementing of these programmes rested with the local partnerships, they should be responsible for securing the match funding.

This approach to match funding is designed to ensure that there is local commitment to pursue the projects that are to be funded and that an innovative approach is taken to securing the funding.

The role of the central Government in the framework of the structural funds is to provide advice, guidance and monitoring. In terms of match funding, its role is to guide partnerships toward the many sources of potential funding, both private and public.

While the Government make no guarantee of direct match funding, the spending review has increased funding available in the regions for those programmes which local partners can look to for match funding. This is obviously good news for those areas with EU Structural Funds.