Parts of Yorkshire set for EU funding windfall

Yorkshire’s poorest areas are in line to secure hundreds of millions of pounds from Europe as part of the EU budget deal agreed by David Cameron last week.

The Prime Minister has confirmed that South Yorkshire, East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire are all set to be designated as ‘transition regions’ - areas of Europe deemed to require significant investment from Brussels.

Transition regions are defined as having a local GDP between 75 and 90 per cent of the EU average.

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South and East Yorkshire have already received hundreds of millions of pounds over recent years, but there was concern the fund would be cut back this time.

Labour’s John Healey, the MP for Wentworth and Dearne, said Mr Cameron’s team had been lobbying for the £30 billion fund to be cut as part of their push to reign in EU spending.

“I am glad to say Europe over-ruled Government resistance,” Mr Healey said. “To the end, UK Ministers opposed this money, which will help kick-start South Yorkshire’s economy and generate growth.”

But speaking in the Commons, Mr Cameron said it would have been “hypocritical” to demand the EU cut spending only in areas which did not benefit the UK.

“We always go into these negotiations arguing that we need to look at all levels of spending,” he said. “It’s rather hypocritical to argue that you’ve got to cut the overall spending, but you’ve got to protect every single bit of what Britain receives.”