"To help ensure we have an economy fit for the future, it is essential that this funding to local areas is fully replaced as part of a locally-led successor to EU regional aid."
Responding to today’s announcement by Environment Secretary Michael Gove on farming subsidies post-Brexit, Cllr Kevin Bentley, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Brexit Task and Finish Group, said:
“The Government is right to be working up plans for how to replace EU funding for farming. But local areas will also need £8.4 billion of EU regional funding replaced after Brexit and the clock is ticking for the Government to similarly set out a firm plan to replace this funding into the next decade and beyond.
“Brexit cannot leave local areas facing huge financial funding uncertainty as a result of lost regional aid funding. This has been used by local areas to create jobs, support small and medium enterprises, deliver skills training, invest in critical transport and digital infrastructure and boost inclusive growth across the country. To help ensure we have an economy fit for the future, it is essential that this funding to local areas is fully replaced as part of a locally-led successor to EU regional aid. Brexit provides an opportunity for local communities to have greater responsibility in deciding how a future replacement for EU funding is spent”.
The Government has said that communities will continue to benefit from EU regeneration funds until the end of the current programmes in 2020. The LGA, which represents 370 councils in England and Wales, wants a firm commitment from the Government that funding to local areas is fully replaced from 2021.