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LGA seeks government guarantee over EU funding uncertainty

Councils need reassurances that they will still receive the extensive funding they have been promised from the European Union, the LGA has said.

The LGA warned that there is a danger that Whitehall could hold on to some of the £5.3bn EU funding local areas have been guaranteed until 2020 in the uncertainty following the referendum result.

Many areas have only received a relatively small amount of the promised funding. For example, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have only received 20% of a promised £480m, whilst Birmingham has only received 25% of £237m.

Lord Porter, chair of the LGA, said: “Communities and local economies have become increasingly reliant on what EU funds can achieve for them. Councils have used EU funds to help new businesses start up, create thousands of new jobs, roll out broadband and build new roads and bridges.

“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.”

The UK’s vote to leave the EU last month prompted widespread concerns that the loss of funding from the EU will affect local government, particularly in devolved areas.

Manchester has already warned that a number of programmes designed to support people in the city back into work may not go ahead because of a loss of EU funding.

(Image c. Stefan Rousseau from PA Wire and Press Association Images)

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