Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn, who approved the project, stated: “Projects like this will have huge benefits for businesses and citizens. This initiative in particular will allow North West England to seize the opportunities offered by the digital economy. It is a perfect example of how Regional Policy can help Europe's recovery and directly contribute to meeting the goals of the EU’s growth agenda, ‘Europe 2020’. Providing fast and reliable access to the internet will play a vital role in helping regions in their economic development.”
The investment comes through a programme called “North West Regional competitiveness" under the priority axis "Exploiting Innovation and Knowledge". The European Union, through the ERDF, will finance GBP 16 million (Euro 18.85 m) out of a total investment of GBP 50 million (Euro 58.9 m). As a result of the investment, 145 jobs are expected to be created directly and 155 indirectly over a fifteen year period.
This is a "major project", of which the total investment (VAT included) is above GBP 42 Million (Euro 50 million) and thus subject to a specific decision by the European Commission, whereas other types of projects are approved at national or regional levels. The UK has been allocated approximately GBP 9 billion (Euro 10.6 billion) in total Cohesion Policy funding from 2007-2013.
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Please note: all amounts expressed in sterling are for information purposes only.