District council calls for more local towns to get Assisted Area status to help attract European money.
THE call has gone out for parts of North Devon to be given assisted area status to help gain European funding.
North Devon Council is hoping the government will reconsider putting Ilfracombe and Barnstaple on the new list for 2014 to 2020.
Fremington and Instow have just been included in a draft Assisted Areas status map, published by the government.
This offers an enhanced level of government assistance to support small businesses and large enterprises within the disadvantaged areas.
Now the council is asking businesses to join it in calling for a rethink on the areas that have missed out, so businesses in those towns can also benefit from regional aid.
“We welcome the addition of Fremington and Instow on the assisted areas map,” said Council Leader, Brian Greenslade.
“But we are disappointed there aren’t more North Devon communities included. We will continue to call on parliament to expand on the areas covered, in the hope of getting this redressed.”
Mr Greenslade is seeking to set up a meeting with North Devon MP Nick Harvey and Business Secretary Vince Cable to discuss the matter.
Executive member for economic regeneration, Councillor Malcolm Prowse added: “I am particularly disappointed Barnstaple has not been included in this round. The town helps to drive the local economy and when Barnstaple does well, the rest of North Devon does well. Quite simply, we need to see it on the map.”
The draft map is now out to consultation, before being submitted to the European Commission for approval in March. The consultation is available to view via www.gov.uk/government/consultations and select the ‘Europe’ topic.
For more advice, local businesses or individuals can contact the council’s Economic Development team via email@example.com