European funding has supported Britain for years. Yet no one seems to know how it’s impacted their local areaThe Angel of the North has been widely embraced as a totem of the north-east since its 1998 installation, and having passed it so often, last month I finally carved out the time to see it up close. A small information board at the site, built on Gateshead’s Team colliery, which closed in 1974, features an explanation from the sculptor, Antony Gormley, that the angel honours the region’s heavy industrial past while aspiring towards a renewed economic future. A little detail is included about Gateshead council’s difficulties in raising the £800,000 needed for its monument to regeneration, and in the bottom lefthand corner of the board is a tiny blue and yellow symbol of one organisation that came up with the cash: the European Union.
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