Regional aid funding risks to Newcastle

August 9, 2018 2:41 PM

Cllr Nick CottBrexit cannot leave Newcastle and the North East facing huge financial uncertainty as a result of lost regional aid funding, writes Dr Nick Cott, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for Newcastle upon Tyne, North (pictured)

This funding has been used to create jobs, support small and medium enterprises, deliver skills training, invest in critical transport and boost inclusive growth in England from Northumberland to Cornwall and Cumbria to Kent. Even last week, support for employment projects here has been announced.

The clock is already ticking for the Government to set out a plan to replace this funding into the next decade and beyond. Failing to do so will cost jobs and impact most on our poorest citizens.

Councils, including Newcastle, are prepared to work with ministers to help develop a fully-funded and locally driven successor scheme. With national regenerated funding depleted, some areas have become increasingly reliant on EU money

To help ensure we have an economy fit for the future, government needs to sort out what the fund will look like. Councils need to know quickly how they will be able to bid, receive guarantees that future funding will at least match current EU funding, and receive their funding allocations by the time we leave.

Without action, there is a risk that billions of pounds of investment into our communities will be lost and local areas and economies will be denied desperately needed funding.

The failure to sort out regional aid funding is just the latest Brexit example that will damage the UK's poorer communities the most - and unfortunately, many of them are in our region.