Plymouth in line for bigger share of European cash
PLYMOUTH is in line to receive a bigger share of European funding to boost the economy and create jobs in a budget deal with Brussels.
The Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that Plymouth and the rest of Devon will qualify for a larger allocation of EU cash, than is currently the case.
It follows the creation of a new funding tier for 11 so-called "transition regions", including Devon, which could be in line to share a total of £2.6 billion over the period 2014-20.
Under the existing system Devon loses as it falls into the same category as much more affluent areas such as inner London and Brussels.
Grant aid based on the comparative poverty of each region judged by their gross domestic product or GDP.
Cornwall's GDP is 73 per cent of the European average which is below the 75 per cent qualifying rate for the highest EU assistance.
Devon's GDP, including Plymouth and Torbay, is 88 per cent of the European average, which means it gets the same funding per head as Brussels and inner London which has a GDP of 327 per cent.
It means on one side of the Tamar, in Cornwall, European aid is currently worth £1,120 a head, compared to £118 - about 10 per cent - in Devon.
There are concerns it will mean businesses choosing to set up in Cornwall based on the disparity in European aid.
The revamped system creates a third tier of 'transition' areas with GDP between 75 per cent and 90 per cent of the European average. These would receive bigger share of structural funding than they would have if classified as a more developed region.