I’ve written to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to ask him to commit to match the money South Yorkshire would have received from the EU if the UK had remained a member. This followed a new report that indicated we would have received £605 million from the EU to support economic growth from 2021 to 2027.
The report from the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) estimates that the UK would be entitled to approximately 13 billion euros of regional development funding for the 2021-2027 period should it stay in the European Union. The report also identifies five UK regions – South Yorkshire, Tees Valley & Durham, Lincolnshire, Cornwall, and West Wales – which would classed as ‘less developed regions’ as their economic output (GDP) is below the EU average of 75%. It says that “all five of these regions would stand to receive EU support in excess of 500 euros per capita for the seven-year period.”
When previously designated a ‘less developed region’ by the EU, after the collapse of the steel and mining industries, South Yorkshire received ‘Objective 1’ funding which provided £820 million to more than 250 organisations and over 650 projects, and increased the local economy by 8.5%. There has been a shocking growth in regional inequality under this Government and South Yorkshire is now one of the poorest regions in Europe. It means that we would have received substantially more European funding to boost the local economy. The Government have said that regions shouldn’t lose out following Brexit, so I’m calling on them to give is our lost cash.
In the letter, I wrote that:
“Ministers have indicated that regions should not lose out from the decision to leave the EU and I would therefore be grateful if you would confirm that the Government will ensure that South Yorkshire will receive funding equivalent to the £605million that we would have received from EU regional development funds.”
EU funding has been crucial to our region, supporting major projects like the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and road building in the Dearne Valley, as well as community initiatives like Manor Training & Resource Centre. People didn’t vote to lose out in the Brexit referendum. So I’m demanding that the Government make sure they don’t.