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The Shadow Minister for Regional Growth believes the government has made a blunder by scrapping the UK's regional development agencies.

Gordon Marsden, Labour MP for Blackpool South, said this could potentially hamper attempts to secure European funding for broadband investment and other infrastructure spending.

He said it "beggars belief" that England as a whole could lose £1 billion in EU money by scrapping the development agencies.

Under Labour, they were responsible for managing the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which recently allocated £53.5 million to the Super-Fast Cornwall project.

EU funds are helping BT to roll out fibre broadband services across some of the more remote parts of the county and the Isles of Scilly.

But the Western Morning News recently reported that around £110 million of ERDF money for various infrastructure improvement projects is still outstanding in Cornwall.

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