Cornwall Council welcomes Prime Minister’s commitment to match EU funding

On behalf of Cornwall’s residents, the Council has welcomed the Prime Minister’s promise to replace EU funding in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly like-for-like with a dedicated fund that could be worth up to £600 million over the next decade.

In a media interview on Thursday night, when asked if he could categorically say that the Government would replace EU funding in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly after Brexit, Boris Johnson told BBC Spotlight: “Yes. It’s going to be the same quantum. We’re going to make sure the Prosperity Fund matches.”

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Pressed on whether this funding would be competitive with other UK regions or ring-fenced for Cornwall, the Prime Minister added: “There is going to be a discrete fund for Cornwall, the Prosperity Fund, which will match the existing funding. We’re determined to do that.”

The Government’s long-awaited Shared Prosperity Fund (SPF) is designed to replace EU funding after Brexit, but details so far have been scarce.

The Prime Minister’s pledge to use part of the SPF to create a bespoke fund for Cornwall and Scilly could be worth at least £60m a year for the next seven to 10 years.

This is what the area could have expected from the EU to support its economy if the UK remained in the European Union on top of funding allocated direct to the region from Government, which could total more than £100 million per year.

Cornwall Council has been applying pressure to Government not to roll-back from the promise of greater devolution after Brexit, giving the region more power over funding to deliver services to local businesses and residents.

Cornwall Council’s Deputy Leader, Adam Paynter (pictured), cautiously welcomed the Prime Minister’s comments but said the Council urgently needs to see more details on the proposals for this discrete Cornwall programme.

He said: “Boris Johnson clearly told us that Brexit would allow local people to take back control.

“We hope that the Prime Minister can deliver on his promise that Cornwall will be no worse off and we look forward to receiving further clarity over funding and devolution post-Brexit that could have a significant impact on everyone’s lives within Cornwall.”

Glenn Caplin, Chief Executive of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “We have long argued that Cornwall and Scilly should be left no worse off after Brexit and we welcome the Prime Minister’s personal commitment to create a discrete fund to replace our EU programme.

“It’s vital that the special economic circumstances of Cornwall and Scilly continue to be recognised and we look forward to working with our partners, Government and our MPs on shaping our new regional investment programme.”

 

Posted on 27 September