To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will give details of the annual European regional development fund infrastructure grant available for national programmes and integrated development operations applications in the north-west region; and if he will make a statement.
In co-operation with the local authorities and other public bodies, the Government will be submitting to the European Commission applications for the north-west region. These are being prepared in the expectation that ERDF aid of up to £60 million annually will be available for such programmes in that region. On this basis the Merseyside integrated development operation, the Manchester-Salford-Trafford integrated development operation and the Mersey basin II national programmes will be seeking an average annual ERDF grant of £25 million, £20 million and £15 million respectively. In addition, authorities may continue to submit separately applications for infrastucture projects which are not included in the programmes.These figures compare favourably with total ERDF grants of £51·6 million committed to the region in 1987, of which £19·8 million was for local authorities. Decisions on actual grant awards are, of course, made by the European Commission.