SNP MEP Welcomes European Commission Approval Of EU Funding Plans For 2007-2013

03 September 2007
"High time this £540 million came to Scotland"

Scottish National Party MEP Alyn Smith has today welcomed the agreement reached between the UK Government on Scotland's behalf and the European Commission on the UK's plans and priorities for the new round of EU structural funding during the 2007-2013 period.

The National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) details how the UK plans to invest the 9.9 billion euro, which the UK as a whole will receive in funding from the EU over the next seven years to create more and better jobs and to boost economic growth. Key priority areas for funding support include enterprise and innovation (promoting research and development, supporting SMEs), skills and employment, and environmental and Community sustainability.

Mr Smith said:

"I welcome this move forward though its been a long time coming.

"Scotland has already submitted its four structural funds operational programmes in the Highlands and Islands and the Lowlands and Uplands. I look forward to a green light for these programmes as soon as possible.

"Over half a billion pounds is at stake and I applaud the success of Jim Mather, Scotland's Enterprise Minister, in cracking heads together to get things moving.

With Scotland set to receive £540.2 million in EU funding for 2007-2013 it is now vitally important to ensure Scotland derives maximum value from these substantially delayed programmes by moving quickly in getting the programmes in place and project bids accepted without any further delays".

Note to Editors:

Scotland's new structural funds programmes will be launched on Monday 1 October by Jim Mather, Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism.

The breakdown of EU funding in Scotland is as follows: £116.4 million for the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and European Social Fund (ESF) Programmes for the Highlands and Islands under the Convergence Objective and £423.8 million for ERDF and ESF Programmes for Lowlands and Uplands Scotland under the Regional Competitiveness and Employment Objective.

Scotland will have four Programmes: two in the Highlands and Islands and two in Lowlands and Uplands Scotland.