Webster.uk.net is a £1.6m project part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Welsh Assembly Government in conjunction with Torfaen County Borough Council. The webster.uk.net project became possible when Torfaen was awarded Objective One status.
What is Objective One?
Objective One is one of three programmes set up to help reduce differences in social and economic conditions within the European Union. (These three funding programmes are the biggest area of European spending after the Common Agricultural Policy.)
Of the three, Objective One is the highest priority designation for European aid and is targeted at areas where prosperity, measured in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per head of population, is 75% or less of the European average.
Including the UK, there are currently a total of 57 regions within EU member states with Objective One status. These regions include the whole of East Germany, all Greece, much of Spain, some of France's remote overseas territories, southern Italy and Sardinia, part of Eire, a region in Eastern Austria, most of Portugal, and northern parts of Finland and Sweden.
Where does the money come from?
All Objective One money comes from four European budgets, known as Structural Funds, set up to provide grant aid to member countries.
The four funds contributing to Objective One, and the proportions they will provide of the total European funding, are:
European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) - 60.4%
European Social Fund (ESF) - 20.3%
European Agricultural Guidance & Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) - 15.9%
Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG) - 3.4%
The first of these Structural Funds was set up in 1958 and the UK began to benefit from them when it joined the Common Market in 1975. Between 1989 and 1993, the UK received around £3.8 billion in Structural Fund money.