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Regional Development Agencies (Budgets)

Volume 405: debated on Wednesday 21 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what criteria she has used in determining the budget allocations to individual regional development agencies in 2003–04. [114899]

The budget for Regional Development Agencies is allocated between RDAs using a formula which takes into account nine weighted indictors of need and opportunity. Provision has also been made to ensure that no RDA will receive less in 2003–04 than in previous years.The nine indicators are:

An allocation for each RDA to cover common administrative overheads;
Population size;
Gross Domestic Product per head, where the richest regions get zero;
Research and development expenditure per head with the weakest regions benefiting most;
Population in rural areas with low productivity;
The number of people living in the most deprived 10 per cent. of wards;
The 100 poorest authorities in terms of unemployment rate;
The amount of derelict land and pre-used land with planning permission;
The proportion of the working age population classed a partly skilled or unskilled.

The three indicators with the highest weightings are unemployment, deprivation and gross domestic product.