The European Commission has approved in principle a £121.6m aid package for industrial and structural change in the east Midlands, Plymouth and Thanet in Kent.
The EU aid will be matched by British public spending of £166.6m, plus £27.8m from the private sector. Brussels hopes the combined spend will help to create more than 12,500 jobs.
In Nottingham and in the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire coalfield areas, £79.2m of European aid will be spent on creating small and medium sized companies, innovation technology and research and development.
Mine closures and the decline of the textile industry in the east Midlands has pushed up unemployment rates to 9-11%. The commission wants to ensure that `the most deprived communities’ will get jobs.
The funds approved in principle bring the total EU support for British regions in industrial decline to about £1.88bn for the period 1997-1999.