Britain has won a £5.6bn package of regional development grants from the European Union for the years 2000-2006.
West Wales, the Welsh Valleys, Cornwall and South Yorkshire have been selected to receive the highest level of funding, gaining Objective 1 status.
Merseyside is to retain its existing Objective 1 status, but Northern Ireland and the Scottish Highlands and Islands have lost that designation.
Objective 1 areas will be able to apply for financial assistance covering up to 75% of the cost of sustainable job creation programmes, including road building projects, industrial investment and training.
The Department of Trade and Industry has already announced how this money will be allocated. Around £1.2bn will go to Wales, £840m to Merseyside, £740m to South Yorkshire and £310m to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Total UK Objective 1 funding from the EU is £3bn.
The Commission also announced that the UK would receive around £2.6bn for areas of lesser need, known as Objective 2 areas.
The exact districts which will receive the money have yet to be identified.
Ulster will also receive an extra £200m of EU development funds to help the peace process.
Copyright: Centaur Communications Limited