Threat to jobs fund

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TENS of millions of pounds in European funding for the North East could be wasted.

A pot of money for regeneration worth up to £180million needs to be allocated to North East projects before March next year or the European Commission will claw the money back.

But the money cannot be spent without matched funding provided by councils, businesses or a regional development agency – none of which look likely to find the cash.

Critics have warned that the Government spending cuts mean there is no spare money to make the most of the European funding – and this could cost jobs.