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The ASSISTED AREAS of Great Britain are based upon a map drawn up and agreed with the European Commission. The latest map has now been formally approved by the European Commission will run from 1st July 2014 until 31st December 2020.

Click to see searchable Area OS Map by BIS


Assisted Areas are those areas where regional aid can be offered to undertakings, typically businesses, under Commission state aid rules. In the UK the main examples of schemes which include offering regional aid are:

    Regional Growth Fund - operates in England and supports projects and programmes that are using private sector investment to create economic growth and sustainable employment.

    Regional Selective Assistance - primary Scottish scheme under the Regional Aid Guidelines and is administered by Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Scottish Enterprise. Grants may be given in conjunction with support under other aid frameworks, for example R&D or skills and training.

    Welsh Government Business Finance - offers discretionary financial support to eligible businesses in key business sectors and certain strategically important projects outside these. It helps fund capital investment, job creation, research, development and innovation and certain eligible revenue projects throughout Wales.

    Selective Financial Assistance - provides support for investment in Northern Ireland by indigenous and foreign owned companies that creates, maintains or safeguards employment. The scheme aims to achieve higher levels of business growth, leading to long-term high quality employment.

Assisted Areas status can also offer certain tax allowances:

Business Premises Renovation Allowance (BPRA) is predicated on Assisted Area status. It gives an incentive to bring derelict or unused properties back into use, by giving an initial allowance of 100% for expenditure on converting or renovating unused business premises in a disadvantaged area.

The Enhanced Capital Allowances permitted at some Enterprise Zones are reliant on Assisted Area status.

Many business support schemes provide other forms of assistance and do not depend on Assisted Area status. Such funding is aimed at tackling specific market failures that can occur regardless of geography, such as aid for R&D, training or environmental protection.



Assisted Areas - England

Regional Aid Map

Under the new Regional Aid Guidelines, the maximum proportion of the UK population covered by the Assisted Areas will be 27.05%, compared to 23.9% covered on the 2007-2013 Map.

The following UK NUTS areas qualify automatically for Assisted Area status under the new RAG:

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly and West Wales and the Valleys. These NUTS2 areas qualify as ‘a’ areas under the RAG on grounds of having a GDP per capita of less than 75% of the EU average.

Caithness & Sutherland and Ross & Cromarty, Lochaber, Skye & Lochalsh, Arran & Cumbrae and Argyll & Bute and Eilean Siar. These NUTS3 areas are predefined as ‘c’ areas under the RAG on grounds of being sparsely populated, with a population density below 12.5 persons per square kilometre.

In addition, in June 2013 the Government announced that Northern Ireland will maintain its 100% coverage3 (at least until any mid-term review of 2014-2020 Assisted Areas coverage), owing to its unique circumstances.

Key Grant Areas are:

a.: Articles 87(3)a

c: Articles 87(3)c

Click on tabs to go to pages with specific and relevant detail for either England, Wales or Scotland

01.07.2014 GRA 2003-2014


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