Brexit replacement money is lower than before

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EU/UK flags (courtesy Rocco Dipoppa/Unsplash)

Devon Council has ‘Shared Prosperity Funding’

Devon councils are hoping to secure additional cash to replace the funding they were receiving from the EU, but figures suggest there will be far less money available than before Brexit.

The government has allocated Plymouth £3,131,412 over three years which will be shared between three investment priority groups:

  • Location and community
  • Business & Innovation
  • Skills & People

Plymouth also received £1,317,533 for ‘Multiply’, the government’s adult education programme.

Plymouth City Council must now draw up an investment plan for how it will distribute this funding by the end of July.

The plan must then be approved by the government and funds will begin to become available in the fall.

Most other councils, including South Hams District Council and West Devon Borough Council, are also applying for funding from the Shared Prosperity Fund.

South Hams District Council is asking for £1,062,300 over three years; West Devon Borough Council is asking for £1m over the same period.

Exeter City Council has £1,043,000 for three years, of which four per cent (£56,120) is earmarked for the costs of employing a project manager.

West Devon councilors discussed the funding request at the council’s ‘hub’ meeting earlier this month; South Hams councilors will discuss the funding request at the executive council meeting next Thursday.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) was created to replace four funds granted by the EU when the UK was still a member:

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which mainly focuses on supporting small businesses and on research and innovation.
The European Social Fund (ESF), which has a very strong focus on employment by creating networks between employers, local authorities and charities and improving people’s skills.
The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), which funds improvements in agriculture under the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy.
The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), a much smaller fund supporting the improvement of fisheries
Funds were distributed through the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) in seven-year cycles.

In the 2014-2020 MFF, the UK as a whole was allocated £9.4bn of structural funds (£5bn via the ERDF and £4.4bn via the ESF) . This was complemented by an additional £7.2bn of ‘matching funding’ provided domestically: an average total of £2.4bn a year.

The UK government has pledged to increase UKSPF investment so that total UK-wide domestic funding at least matches current EU revenue and says the UKSPF is a pillar central to its leveling program and forms part of its support for venues across the UK.

The UKSPF will provide £2.6bn of funding for local investments across the UK over a three-year period to March 2025, focusing on building pride and increasing opportunity in life across the UK, as outlined in the government’s Leveling Up white paper. This equates to just £870m a year; well below the average annual combined funds of £2.4bn available before Brexit.

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