Government urged to replace EU funding for poor areas

PUBLISHED: 00:00 04 April 2018

Labour MP Frank Field
Photo: PA / Anthony Devlin

Labour MP Frank Field Photo: PA / Anthony Devlin

PA Wire/PA Images

Deprived communities face a "disastrous" future post-Brexit unless current EU funding is matched, MPs have warned the government.

The annual £500 million European Social Fund provides for employment and skills training in communities that are poorly served or neglected by “mainstream” support.

A report by the Commons Work and Pensions Committee has warned that if there was a gap in funding after March 29 next year the consequences would be “disastrous” for providers, for local areas and for individuals.

In evidence to the committee one service provider, Graham Parry of Groundwork, explained that if there was a gap “you will lose infrastructure, you will lose knowledge, you will lose delivery, you will lose support for clients and you will lose organisations”.

The committee warned that replacing ESF would be “no small investment” as between 2007 and 2013 the total value of funding was around 8.6 billion euro.

In response to concerns the government has pledged to create a UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) which would serve a similar purpose to current EU funding.

Brexiteer Labour MP Frank Field, who chairs the committee, welcomed the move but warned if action was not quick existing suppliers could be “bankrupted”.

Field added: “The government must act quickly so that those excellent existing suppliers are not bankrupted.

“Effective reform here offers the government an important new chance to begin to fill our skills gap from the community upwards, instead of having a top-down approach.”

You've seen the news, now discover the story

The New European is committed to providing in-depth analysis of the Brexit process, its implications and progress as well as celebrating European life.

Try 13 weeks for £13

Become a Supporter

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

Find out more

Latest Articles

Most Read

latest issue


Here's our weekly pick of the upcoming Remain-focused campaign activities, talks and events nationwide.

Newsletter Sign Up

The New European weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy