Jane Hutt close to agreement on next round of EU Structural Fund Programmes
Finance Minister Jane Hutt has recently told AMs that the Welsh Government is close to reaching agreement with the European Commission on Welsh Structural Fund Programmes for 2014-2020.
The Minister expects to announce agreement of the four Welsh Structural Fund programmes, worth £2 billion to Wales, in the coming weeks with the first project announcement in December.
Over the period 2014-2020 the fund will allocate £1.6bn to West Wales and the Valleys and over £325m to East Wales. This package, together with match funding, will drive a total investment of some £2.9bn and will help deliver on the Welsh Government’s shared goals across Government for sustainable economic growth and jobs.
Programmes in Wales will focus on investment in Research and Innovation, Small and Medium Enterprise Competitiveness, Renewable Energy and Efficiency, Connectivity and Urban Development, Tackling Poverty through Sustainable Employment, Skills and Youth Employment and Attainment.
Jane Hutt said:
“I’m pleased to say we are very close to securing everything we set out to achieve when we began negotiations with the European Commission. Our new programme investments will be much more focused than before, with the emphasis very much on impact and results.
“This will mean a significant increase in funding for research and innovation and SME competitiveness, including business finance; support for transformational public transport investments such as the Metro in the Cardiff Capital City Region; and improvements to strategic road networks in West and North Wales.
"There will also be a significant increase in funding for investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency, with a particular focus on marine energy, and investment to tackle poverty through supporting people into sustainable employment, and tackle youth unemployment.
“I cannot overstate the importance of EU funds to Wales. These new programmes will build on our achievements so far, where current EU projects led by the public, private and third sectors have supported some 187,500 people to gain qualifications, over 60,000 people into work, over 45,000 into further learning, and created over 10,400 enterprises and over 30,100 jobs.
“Yesterday I visited Pontypridd station to see first hand the excellent refurbishment work taking place. All part of the EU backed National Station Improvement Programme which is improving railway stations and their connection with other modes of transport across Wales, this is truly European funds making a real impact.”
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