Cornwall 'still too poor' for EU grants cut

Cornwall is to continue to get the highest level of European funding because its economy is not strong enough to do without such grants, officials have ruled.

It has received such funding since 2000, getting £400m between 2000 and 2006, and £500m between 2007 and 2013.

The European Commission said there had been growth in the county's economy, but not enough to reclassify the funds.

Cornwall Council said the recession had had a "significant impact".

'Not surprised'

The council said that it was told it stood to receive about 500m euros (£416m) of further funding between 2014 and 2020.

Chris Ridgers, the council's portfolio holder for economy and regeneration, said he was "not surprised" by the commission's findings.

He said that the Conservative-Independent unitary authority had hoped that investments made in the county and the Isles of Scilly might have meant the local economy was resilient enough to move away from high-level funding.

He said: "However, the depths of the economic recession have had a significant impact.

"There is no easy fix for the economic challenges we now face, but the investments we have made have laid the foundation for future growth."

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