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Objective 5b areas

The EC has designated certain areas for special funds to support and accelerate the economic regeneration of an area. The objective is known as 5b and is divided into priorities to deal with different areas of regeneration and development. The priorities cover the following aims:

  • Supporting and assisting the development of businesses,
  • Encouraging the development of new businesses,
  • Improving the skills of the workforce,
  • Diversifying the agriculture and fisheries industries,
  • Developing human resources,
  • Developing rural communities,
  • Developing tourism and cultural activities,
  • Promoting research and development and technology transfer,
  • Achieving sustainable economic growth while respecting the environment.

The general criterion for Objective 5b eligibility is a low level of socio-economic development (assessed on the basis of per capita GDP) with an additional three main criteria, two of which must be met:

  • high share of agricultural employment,
  • low level of agricultural income,
  • low population density and/or significant depopulation trend.

Areas in England benefiting from EC Objective 5b funds include the South West Periphery (Cornwall and much of Devon and North West Somerset), the Marches, parts of Anglia (Norfolk and Suffolk), rural Lincolnshire, Midlands Uplands (Peak District) and the Northern Uplands. In most of these areas countryside recreation and farm tourism are important and growing features of the economy.

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