HC Deb 21 March 2000 vol 346 cc469-70W
Mr. Hilary Benn

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what plans he has to seek an amendment to the Treaty of Rome to allow the continuation of the gap funding mechanism of the Partnership Investment Programme; and if he will make a statement. [115504]

Ms Beverley Hughes

We are working with the European Commission to try to identify a means of continuing to work in partnership with the private sector to regenerate derelict sites and buildings, within the existing Treaty rules. Ministers have recently held discussions with Commissioner Monti on the problems we face since the Commission ruled that the Partnership Investment Programme (PIP) breached the State aid rules. These discussions are continuing at official level.