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Future of European Commission funding discussed in Inverness

11 November 2010

The potential for the Highlands and Islands to continue to benefit from European Commission funding after 2013 is the subject of a meeting taking place in Inverness today (Thursday 11 November).

The Highlands and Islands European Partnership (HIEP) - comprising Highlands and Islands Enterprise, UHI and the region's seven local authorities - is hosting a meeting at UHI's Ness Walk offices.

Chaired by Neil Mitchison, Head of the European Commission Office in Scotland, the meeting will get under way after the Armistice Day two-minute silence at 11.00 am.

Moray Gilland, Assistant to the Director General of the Regional Policy, will present the European Union's fifth report on economic, social and territorial cohesion, which was published in Brussels on Wednesday 10 November.

The EU publishes a cohesion report every three years, detailing progress and how the EU, national and regional governments have contributed. To present this report, the European Commission has arranged a series of meetings across the EU in all cities where there is an office of the European Commission, and Inverness.

The Highlands and Islands has received considerable additional funding from the EU since 1994; funding roads, bridges, ferries, college buildings, research projects and countless training and community initiatives.

Rob Clarke, Head of International Development at HIE, said: "This is very much the start of the campaign for the Highlands and Islands European Partnership and other organisations to attract further EU investment into the region to continue the good work. European funds have made a huge difference across the Highlands and Islands and we want to make sure that they continue to do so after 2013."

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