I spoke in a Parliamentary debate yesterday on the Shared Prosperity Fund, which the Government has proposed to replace EU structural funding after Brexit, demanding that Ministers ensure that our regional funding is not lost by the UK leaving the European Union.
Were the UK to stay in the EU, South Yorkshire would receive £605m between 2021 and 2027, according to a report by the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions. South Yorkshire is classified as a ‘less developed region’ because its economic output (GDP) is below 75% of the EU average, meaning that we receive structural funding to support job creation and economic development.
After the collapse of the steel and mining industries under Margaret Thatcher, South Yorkshire received over £820 million of ‘Objective 1’ funding which went to more than 250 organisations and 650 projects. EU funding helped grow the local economy by 8.5%. Projects which received funding include projects like the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, investment in infrastructure to attract investment and community initiatives to develop skills (see more here).
As you can see in the video below, I demanded that the Government commits to providing regional development funding equivalent to the money we would have received from the EU.