Council to meet Business Minister over Assisted Area Status

The Island is to take its case for more economic aid straight to the heart of Government.

Further to our update over the weekend about the Island’s interest in Assisted Area Status, this in from the council, in their own words. Ed

The Isle of Wight Council has, via MP Andrew Turner, sought a meeting with Michael Fallon (pictured), minster of state for business and enterprise.

Michael Fallon:At the meeting, an Island delegation will push the case for Assisted Area Status and for the Island to be viewed more favourably as an area requiring economic aid under a European designation called structural funding.

The Island‘s case is supported by organisations including the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce, The Solent Local Economic Partnership, the Partnership of Urban South Hampshire and the IW Association of Local Councils. The IW Trades Union Council is also campaigning for recognition of the Island’s economic disadvantages.

Councillor Ian Stephens, Isle of Wight Council leader said,

“For many years I have believed that the Island should qualify for economic assistance to recognise the particular challenges we face, not least our separation by sea which can increase many business costs.

“I am delighted that this new push for recognition of these challenges is backed with support not just from our partners on the Island but from those in the wider southern region as well.

“While we will continue to support all the businesses that flourish here already and indeed work to attract other inward investment, our overall aim of stimulating the Island’s economy will be helped greatly if we are given Assisted Area Status or we have our distinct problems recognised by Europe. If we are successful in that, then there will be significantly more leverage for us to attract new business and commerce and also to help those already here to expand.”

The Island’s MP Andrew Turner said:

“I am very pleased to add my voice to the Council’s in seeking proper recognition from the EU of the unique challenges we face here on the Island. We all realise that this will be an uphill battle – but it is one that we must all fight together for the good of the Island.”

Thursday, 27th June, 2013 12:45pm



Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.


  1. This is indeed excellent news and we congratulate Ian Stephens in showing timely leadership.With everyone speaking together off the same song sheet we can definitely move forward on this. At a time of increased pressure from the Spending Review, inward investment is most welcome and helps implementation of the principle that more should be put into the local economy than is taken out.We know that there is much to be done to gain sufficient funds but we are hopeful that the new administration can continue along this path and achieve even more.

  2. Didn’t the previous council start this process?

  3. phil jordan

    28.Jun.2013 8:10am


    No, they didn’t. If you recall, also, they refused to work with Andrew Turner…or were unable to do so due (it appears) to the dispute between david pugh and our MP.
    This is an important part of the jigsaw as representation goes via Westminster (who in turn make representation in Europe) and not direct to Europe from the Council.
    Clearly, working with and through the MP on this matter is a sensible and prudent approach.
    In addition, for reasons I cannot explain, the previous administration chose not to be a partner in a number of organisations mentioned in the report above (PUSH, SLEP, IWALC) but who have some influence and ability to assist us in moving this forward. We have since re-joined or re-strengthened our ties with those organisations.
    By doing so, they have added their support for our position and representations and provide further weight to our ‘argument’.
    One thing we are trying to do is to work with as many people and organisations as we can, regardless of political persuasion, to benefit the people on this Island. Sadly, as yet, the conservative group have yet to fully understand this approach and are still playing somewhat of a political game such as we witnessed at the last two full council meetings.
    (see or research discussions and voting on an IWALC member for the scrutiny panel, for example, resulting on the matter being deferred)

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