Island a step closer to massive funding boost

By Ross Findon

Wednesday, April 30, 2014


THE ISLAND looks set to benefit from millions of pounds of extra funding after it was confirmed the government had approved calls to award area assisted status (AAS) to 28 out of 39 electoral areas.

The proposed map of areas to receive AAS support has been sent to the European Commission for final approval and is due to take effect in July.

Steve Butler of the Isle of Wight Trades Union Council (IWTUC), which had campaigned for the status for more than two years, said they were delighted by the decision and it was now up to businesses to take advantage of the opportunity.

The status, which lasts for seven years, will allow the government to award additional funding and tax breaks to support economic development.

MP Andrew Turner, who organised a meeting between himself, business minister Michael Fallon, Isle of Wight Council leader Cllr Ian Stephens and Isle of Wight Association of Local Councils (IWALC) representative Harry Rees, to discuss the Island's case last year, said the announcement was the result of all parties working together.

He said: "This is a real opportunity for growth on the Island, but it won't just happen; Island businesses and entrepreneurs need to come up with plans that will bring jobs and growth to the local economy. I will now be working with the council and the government to ensure that information is made available about how businesses can access the help and capital that will become available through this announcement."

He added that although not all the Island had been awarded the AAS status, the funding opportunities would benefit the whole community.

Mr Butler said a last minute application by Portsmouth for AAS had led to concern the Island might miss out and they were delighted by today's (Wednesday) announcement.

"What we need now are the projects. We need the businesses that are here to take this on board and make the most of this opportunity," he said.


Isle of Wight electoral divisions included in the map are :

Binstead and Fishbourne

Brading, St. Helens and Bembridge

Cowes Medina

Cowes North

Cowes South and Northwood

Cowes West and Gurnard

East Cowes

Freshwater North

Havenstreet, Ashey and Haylands

Lake North

Lake South

Nettlestone and Seaview

Newport Central

Newport East

Newport North

Newport South

Newport West


Ryde East

Ryde North East

Ryde North West

Ryde South

Ryde West


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Displaying the last 10 of 21 comments - Show All Comments

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by Den Young

1st May 2014, at 08:15:43

JK lets give it to the euro elections and then we will see who is the majority and who is the minority I know who my money is on, how about yours, might be worth an outside bet for you.

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by David Blackford

1st May 2014, at 07:45:11

UKIP are coming to a polling station near you - soon - be there!

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by David Walter

1st May 2014, at 00:27:05

David Shoulder -- I go along with the general spirit of your post. Not sure about National Park status, tho' ! We need to re-balance our economy and our demography, for sure, and outside financial help is vital but not if that means building more houses for incoming retirees from the mainland. Services just cannot cope for a start.

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by David Shoulder

30th April 2014, at 22:35:20

Shame we cannot we cannot accept the Island is an island and better suited to a designation as a national park. Instead assisted area status will mean it will be further vandalised by unsustainable development and in effect become little more than a grotty suburb of Pompey.

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by John Kneeshaw

30th April 2014, at 21:50:06

I was not polled but had I been - I would have been part of the 64% who would not be voting for UKIP. Would you care to explain how that makes me a part of a minority? I would also be a part of the 54% who would vote for the UK to remain a part of the EU. Explain how that equates to UKIP winning the argument!

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by Mat Thomas

30th April 2014, at 21:09:17

Don't jump up and down too quickly, this is a tiny proportion of what the island is entitled too. It is wrong to call it "massive".

The appropriate claim was blocked by the EU, the SLEP and Vince Cable. Apart from Harry Rees, the Trade Unions and Cllr Ian Stevens the others have done little or nothing, so no political election points to them.

The island deserves more and so do many other regions outside of London, the trouble is they continue to shaft us at every turn.We still need to stand up for ourselves.

This is money we paid in to the EU and we are entitled to get more of it back.

By the way, the dumb U-KIPPERS have only just cottoned on to some of these facts.

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by Den Young

30th April 2014, at 21:03:47

like I said JK you are in the minority every body I know as well are going UKIP, system needs a new broom.

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by Bill Adam

30th April 2014, at 19:49:33

UKIP all the way for me and more or less all the people I know whether they are friends,relatives or work mates the vast majority all seem to feel the same way and not just here on the IOW but all over the country friends and relatives are all saying the same thing that they will be voting UKIP and the main reason is the complete failure of the other parties to control immigration and allowing some parts of the country to now be more immigrant than British and thats not racism Mr Kneeshaw it's reality

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by Den Young

30th April 2014, at 19:13:48

JK maybe you should take another look at the polls it seems like you are with the minority.

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by Don Prescott

30th April 2014, at 17:12:04

You want to be brave Kneeshaw and comes right out with it.

Are you calling me a racist?

Or are you as usual, going to bottle it?

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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