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Cornwall Council fact checks claims made by Nigel Farage at Camborne event

Cornwall Council is urging the Government to share details of its plans to replace EU funding in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly like-for-like with a dedicated fund.

Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has received investment from the EU programme averaging around £60 million a year over the last 10 years, and the Council urgently needs clarity over funding to ensure the region is no worse off after Brexit.

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Cornwall Council leader Julian German reiterated the calls after Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage gave a speech at an event at Carn Brea Leisure Centre on Monday evening (October 14), where he claimed that Cornwall receives “literally a minuscule sum of money” from the EU and that “Cornwall is doing very badly out of the European Union”.

Councillor German said: “Cornwall Council is fact checking some of the claims made at a recent event.

“It would appear that Mr Farage has a fundamental lack of understanding about how the current EU programmes work and how our status as a ‘less developed region’ provides us with significant funds to invest in projects that help to improve the lives of residents across Cornwall.

“Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly receive annual funds amounting to around £162 per person, compared to £17 per person for most other areas of England*. This is the highest per capita allocation of any region in England. Even using the most conservative method of measuring, we receive £248 million more than we contribute.”

"EU programmes provide us with significant funds to invest in projects that help to improve the lives of residents across Cornwall" - Cornwall Council leader Julian German

A large proportion of EU funds have been matched by the private sector and from public sources, such as the Growth Deal, Local Growth Fund, and universities, which are drawn from general taxation, not from council tax. 

Cornwall Council and the Council of the Isles of Scilly has provided match funding for some projects, and in the current programme period (2014 to 2020) this is worth around £60 million, helping to unlock more than £300 million of EU funds to help improve the lives of one of all.

The delivery of EU funds is controlled by a local partnership board along with Government departments and Cornwall Council as Intermediate Body, which was awarded to the Council as part of its devolution deal.

This means the Council now has control over the way that European funds are spent in the region.

Over the years, EU funding has helped deliver and maintain a wide range of projects to stimulate economic growth, overcome poverty, and promote social inclusion.

Examples include the development of the A30, as part of a comprehensive road network, the rail mainlines from London to Penzance, Cornwall Airport Newquay, the Hall for Cornwall, Superfast Cornwall, and Combined Universities in Cornwall, giving access to higher education without the need to leave the region and helping retain skills for the future.

Story posted on 18 October 2019