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Monday, 17 February

EU Funding - Grab It Now With Government Guarantee

Thousands of British businesses and universities will have certainty over future funding and should continue to bid for competitive EU funds while the UK remains a member of the EU Chancellor Philip Hammond has said.

Key projects supporting economic development across the UK will be given the green light, ending uncertainty over their future following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. Assurances set out by the Treasury include all structural and investment fund projects, including agri-environment schemes, signed before the Autumn Statement will be fully funded, even when these projects continue beyond the UK’s departure from the EU. The Treasury will also put in place arrangements for assessing whether to guarantee funding for specific structural and investment fund projects that might be signed after the Autumn Statement.

Where UK organisations bid directly to the European Commission on a competitive basis for EU funding projects while we are still a member of the EU, for example universities participating in Horizon 2020, the Treasury will underwrite the payments of such awards, even when specific projects continue beyond the UK’s departure from the EU

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, has also written to each devolved administration to confirm the same level of assurances offered to UK government departments in relation to programmes they administer but for which they are expected to rely on EU funding.

Hammond said: "The UK will continue to have all of the rights, obligations and benefits that membership brings, including receiving European funding, up until the point we leave the EU."

A breakdown of example projects across the country that have received or are due to receive, funding from the European Regional Development Fund, which the UK government is now providing reassurance for are below:

Midlands – Manufacturing Growth Programme.

£9m of ERDF funding will span 16 LEP areas across the East Midlands, West Midlands, Yorkshire and Humber and East of England. The project will provides tailored support to manufacturers supporting a large employment base. The MGP service will provide locally-focused front-line teams to provide business and specialist manufacturing advice to support manufacturers to improve and grow.

Reading – Thames Valley Science Park.

£5 million of ERDF. A Thames Valley Berkshire LEP area project which will deliver the first building (Gateway Building) of the Reading University Science Park providing facilities conducive to the growth of innovative technology based companies, particularly those participating in research and development, and product development.

Cornwall – Carluddon Technology Park. £6.2 million of ERDF. This project will build on previous ERDF investment, unlocking a key gateway employment site on the main A391 road into St Austell, Cornwall. The project will provide high quality workspace and lead to the creation of high quality, high value jobs in the low carbon environmental goods and services sector, supporting Cornwall and Isles of Scilly’s aspirations of becoming an industry leader in environmental technologies (land and marine).

North East – Tees Valley Compass and Business Fund. The project will run until the end of 2019 and is expected to deliver 800 new jobs and around £15 million in private sector investment.

Yorkshire – The Royce Translational Centre at the Advanced Manufacturing Park, Rotherham. A new 1,000sq.m innovation facility will be delivered with £4 million of ERDF funding will deliver. This is expected to support growth and innovation in companies employing over 13,800 people and is estimated to generate £668 million in the Sheffield City Region.

Manchester – Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre. £5 million of ERDF funding for the University of Manchester centre, in the North Campus. It will fund equipment needed for a new facility which will exploit and maintain the UK’s world-leading position in graphene and related 2-D materials. The GEIC will allow the acceleration of application research and development in partnership with industry and other research organisations. The facility will complement the £23 million ERDF 2007-13 investment in the National Graphene Institute, where currently over 200 scientists and engineers work.

East Anglia – SCORE – The Supply Chain Innovation in Offshore Renewable Energy – New Anglia. Based in Lowestoft, Suffolk the project is a £6 million fund that will support 200 businesses to develop new and innovative technologies in the offshore renewable energy sector. This will range from supporting the supply chain and innovation needs of local businesses with the capabilities to diversify into the offshore renewable energy industry. It’s expected to stimulate more than £3 million of private sector investment, strengthening business, research and university collaborations.

Swindon and Wiltshire – Porton Science Park. A new 3870sq.m health and life sciences incubation and innovation centre at Porton Down, Wiltshire is being supported by £3 million of ERDF. The £6.86 million project will provide flexible lab space and office facilities for SMEs, along with new and growing enterprises in Wiltshire. It’s being led by Wiltshire Council and will create over 200 full time equivalent jobs locally, as well as bring opportunities for advanced skills training in the bioscience sector.

Picture: The Treasury has said it's business as usual for organisations seeking European funding

 

Article written by Cathryn Ellis

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