THE East of England Development Agency (EEDA) is among the lowest-funded in the country according to government figures recently released. The figures show that EEDA sits second from bottom of the table, above only the South West, for funding of regenerat

THE East of England Development Agency (EEDA) is among the lowest-funded in the country according to government figures recently released.

The figures show that EEDA sits second from bottom of the table, above only the South West, for funding of regeneration projects in its communities.

Since 1999, the Government has given regional development agencies such as EEDA a total of £3.267 billion to spend on community-led physical regeneration projects. Of that money, the East has received only £125.5 million. That figure is £237 million below the national average, and £769 million less than the North West, the country's highest-funded region.

EEDA delivers its regeneration schemes through its Economic Participation programme in partnership with county councils and unitary authorities.

According to EEDA's figures, initiatives such as the Economic Participation programme work and are cost effective, bringing in a return of £6.60 for every £1 spent, compared to a national average of £2.50 for every £1.

Councillor Jill Tuck, leader of Cambridgeshire County Council and a member of the East of England Strategic Authority Leaders group, said: "Yet again the East has provided the biggest bang for the least buck.

"How much longer can the Government ignore the fact that, despite the millions it has poured into the Midlands and North, the East is one of the few areas which makes a contribution back to UK PLC?

"Here in Cambridgeshire we are well placed to be the crucible of the country's economic recovery."

The imbalance in funding was highlighted by a parliamentary question asked by Grant Shapps, Conservative MP for Welwyn Hatfield.

He said: "Distributing government cash through vast regional quangos has helped to hide any notion of fairness. I therefore asked the questions in order to ascertain the truth and it turns out that the Eastern Region has consistently been short-changed.