Regeneration funding in Brexit risk

Thousands of regeneration scheme proposals will be at risk if the government holds on to billions of pounds of EU money in the wake of the Brexit vote, the Local Government Association (LGA) has warned.

As it stands, regions have put forward innovative proposals to the government explaining why the funding is needed - to create jobs or build new infrastructure etc - and the government will decide how the funding is distributed.

The LGA is seeking assurance from the government that local areas will receive all of the EU funding they are expecting, £5.3 billion, by the end of the decade, with the LGA estimating that billions of this EU funding has yet to be released.

Birmingham, who have 10 ongoing projects with EU funding agreements and spending in place with a value of £58 million, have received just 25 per cent of its total allocation of £237 million. Additionally, Cornwall and the Isle of Scilly has been allocated £480 million in EU funding by 2020 – only 20 per cent of which has so far been legally committed.

Lord Porter, LGA chairman, said: "Communities and local economies have become increasingly reliant on what EU funds can achieve for them. Losing any of this vital money over the next few years would be a real blow for local economic growth and communities.

"It is important for the government to end the current uncertainty and guarantee that local areas will receive all of the EU funding they have been allocated by 2020, regardless of whether decisions over which projects it should be spent on have been made or not. This is essential to avoid essential growth-boosting projects stalling and local economies across England being stifled."