Council leaders call for ‘urgent clarity’ over EU funding

By William Eichler | 07 December 2017

Council chiefs yesterday called on the Government to provide ‘urgent clarity’ over how it will replace current European Union structural funds post-Brexit.

The EU provides local communities in the UK with €10.5bn (£8.4bn) of funding. This means once the UK exits the EU there will be a funding gap worth billions.

The Government has pledged to create a UK Shared Prosperity Fund to replace the money local areas currently get from Brussels.

However, Cllr Kevin Bentley, chairman of the Local Government Association’s (LGA) Brexit Task and Finish Group, warned the Communities and Local Government Select Committee yesterday that there had been a ‘lack of progress’ from Whitehall on how they were going to replace the lost funds.

Cllr Bentley said: ‘Negotiating our exit from the European Union is clearly a huge task but the clock is ticking to ensure Brexit does not leave local areas facing huge funding gaps as a result of lost regional aid funding.

‘We want to urgently work with the Government to help develop a fully-funded and locally-driven successor scheme with local government in areas of all types.

‘With national funding for regeneration increasingly being depleted, all local areas have become increasingly reliant on EU money and local areas are desperate to get on with creating jobs, building infrastructure and boosting growth.’

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