Euro MPs visit the region to see how they can help out

Giles Babb, landord of The Blue Bell

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EURO politicians have visited the Portsmouth area to find out how they can make it easier for organisations to apply for funding.

The Partnership for Urban South Hampshire hosted a delegation of seven members from the European Parliament, representing member states from across the continent. They also got the chance to see Euro funding in action.

Councillor Tony Briggs, the leader of Havant Borough Council who is the Push lead for economic development, said: ‘This was a great opportunity to set out our plans to raise the economic profile and competitiveness of south Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and explore how we might secure a greater degree of support from Europe in delivering them.

‘It was a very productive discussion with genuine interest from the MEPs in what we are doing here.’

The European delegates were keen to visit south Hampshire and the Isle of Wight as areas of interest, particularly as the region does not benefit from the high levels of EU funding when compared to other areas such as the north of England and Wales.

The delegation was led by Catherine Bearder, MEP for the south east.

It focused on how Europe could improve its funding application process to help areas like south Hampshire to benefit from funding available for initiatives including skills and training, research and development, environmental technologies and support for small and medium sized enterprises.

Push chairman Seán Woodward, who is also leader of Fareham Borough Council, said: ‘Push remains committed to sustainable economic growth and the creation of local jobs for local people, and in doing so welcomes visits such as this.’