Chapter 16: Cohesion policy in the service economies of the north
This chapter examines the development of the Structural Funds in the United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland from 1988 to 2015. It examines the evolution of strategies in the two countries as they have refocused from an emphasis on physical infrastructure towards business development and innovation. Both countries have also experienced some changes in regional governance with the introduction of a regional tier of economic planning in Ireland, specifically to meet the needs of the Structural Funds, and a complex process of experimentation with devolution in the UK. Yet despite the parallel developments in governance and orientation, Ireland has been able to use the funds consistently and more successfully to support a period of rapid growth, whilst the UK, and England in particular, has struggled to achieve consistency of strategy in the face of frequent shifts in regional governance.
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