PUBLIC SECTOR: Citigate wins Birmingham funds pitch

The Government Office of the West Midlands is to launch a campaign later this year to promote £800m worth of European funding in the area.

The Campaign will be handled by Citigate Communications Birmingham, appointed to promote the West Midland's European Structural Funds Programme, for the GOWM.

The two-year contract was won after a six-month tendering process.

Citigate's role is to identify and promote regional success stories that have been partly or completely funded by the programme, while raising awareness among local authorities and community groups about the existence of the fund and encourage applications.

Account director Gill Holtom said the main aim was to ensure that as much of the funding as possible was secured, and to make sure potential applicants throughout the region, not just Birmingham, knew they could gain funding.

The GOWM European Secretariat, which comes under the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, manages more than £800m of European Structural Funds, which must be spent over the next six years.

Funds are used to help development and regeneration of the region, create employment and enhance workforce skills.

Holtom, who will lead Citigate's six-strong account team, said the agency was currently in the induction process and aimed to be working on the campaign by midsummer.

The team will report to GOWM director of regional policy and Europe Chris Marsh.

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