PAISLEY TO LOSE OUT ON HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS AS VITAL EU FUNDING COMES TO AN END

Paisley is set to lose out on hundreds of thousands of pounds of local funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Structural Fund (ESF) as a result of Brexit.

Large scale projects across the country have been funded by grants through both the ERDF and the ESF, but with the UK leaving the European Union in 6 weeks, the money from these schemes, which have been used to invest in infrastructure, connectivity and employment, will no longer be available to the UK.

The funds have been available for more than 40 years and invested £5.6billion in the UK.

During the Brexit negotiations the UK government has announced its intentions to replace the scheme but provided no guidance to the Scottish Government on how it would work. Therefore, the Scottish Government has set out its proposals for a Scottish Shared Prosperity Fund (SSPF).

The SSPF will focus on four key areas to improve – empowering places, reducing poverty, enhancing wellbeing and increasing skills, growing business and jobs.

Commenting, George Adam, Paisley’s MSP said:

“As we hurtle towards the Brexit trapdoor we are starting to see the devastating impact leaving the EU will have on communities like ours and others across Scotland.

“Initiatives funded by the ERDF and ESF have brought real benefits to us and it is extremely disappointing that we will no longer have access to those funds.

“If the UK government continues on its trajectory of grabbing funding and powers from Scotland then we may never see this money again – the lack of transparency on any future replacement is very worrying.

“Scotland is once again bearing the brunt of a Brexit we did not vote for as we are dragged out of the EU. An independent Scotland within the European Union would still have access to these funding streams.”