Sheffield risks losing up to half of its allocated EU funding under government plans unveiled this week, despite the Leave campaign promising during the referendum that all regional funding would be replaced.
Chancellor Philip Hammond announced this week that any projects applying for EU funding after the Autumn Statement will have to meet unspecified conditions to show they “meet UK priorities” and are “value for money.” This means any EU funding not spent by the 23rd November will not be guaranteed by the government.
Recent official figures show Sheffield has received just 2.4% of its £96.6m funding so far from the EU Regional Development Fund, meaning millions of pounds are at risk.
The Local Government Association says it expects that at most only half of EU-funded projects across the UK to will be approved before the Autumn statement deadline.
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has written to the Chancellor calling on him to give a “cast-iron” guarantee that the full amount of EU funding allocated to Sheffield and other regions will be replaced by the government after Brexit.
Tim Farron said:
“Under current plans up to half the funding promised to Sheffield could be clawed back by the government with a stroke of the pen.
“It would be utterly unacceptable to use Brexit as a way to slash vital funding for building infrastructure, growing businesses and training apprentices.
“Instead of setting vague conditions for future funding, the Chancellor must give a cast-iron guarantee that every pound that was allocated to our regions will be delivered.
“The Liberal Democrats are the real opposition to this Brexit government, fighting to keep our country open, united and tolerant.”
MP for Sheffield Hallam Nick Clegg added
"The previous Conservative Government got us into this Brexit mess, the current Conservative Government must now do everything they can to reassure businesses and investors that Britain is still open for business. The least they can do is ensure that vital funding that has been promised to our regions to help grow their economies is delivered for the forseeable future.