THE Isle of Wight Council has pledged to do all it can to secure extra government cash to tackle high unemployment.
At the urging of the Isle of Wight Trades Unions Councils (TUC) and Labour Cllr Geoff Lumley, the council has agreed to lobby the government to recognise the Island as a deprived area and therefore eligible for Assisted Area Status.
Other assisted areas, such as Cornwall, have benefited from funds worth hundreds of millions of pounds.
The government is reviewing the assisted area map and designating new areas in 2014, using guidelines laid down by the European Union.
Economy cabinet member Cllr George Brown said: "This council has already registered a firm interest with the government. The Isle of Wight must make its case in the strongest possible way."
The Island would only receive government aid if it could show it was capable of attracting private investment, said Cllr Brown, stressing the Island must welcome investment from the private sector.
Independent Cllr Ian Stephens said the council must consult trade unions and other organisations on the campaign.
Welcoming the news, Isle of Wight TUC spokesman Steve Butler said: "We welcome the vote on Cllr Lumley’s motion, backed by the Isle of Wight TUC, on securing Assisted Area Status for the Island, and hope all interested groups can get together and take this forward."