Consultation launched on European Structural Funds replacement
A consultation has been launched on a potential replacement to a £780 million European funding programme should Brexit go ahead.
Delivered through the European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund, the funding helps to address economic and social disparities across Scotland by investing in job creation, promoting a sustainable and inclusive economy, and funding projects to support the environment.
The current funding programme has invested in key areas such as modern apprenticeship schemes and the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme.
The UK Government has committed to rolling out a successor programme to the Structural Funds called the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. However, there is as yet no detail on how this fund will operate.
Minister for trade, investment and innovation, Ivan McKee, said: “Scotland must have a full say in the development of a replacement for this vital funding, which is benefitting communities across the country. It’s only right that Scotland’s needs and ambitions are fully reflected in future funding arrangements.
“This consultation provides an opportunity to contribute views on how any replacement funding vehicle can best meet the needs of our people, our businesses and our communities.
“In 2016 Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the European Union. However, as a responsible government we will continue to do what we can to prepare in so far as we can, for all exit scenarios.”
Professor David Bell, chair of the Steering Group overseeing the consultation, added: “Scotland has benefitted significantly from European Structural Funds in the past. With no clear vision from the UK government for their future development, this consultation seeks to gather views from across Scotland on the design of their replacements.”
The Replacement of European Structural Funds consultation will close on 12 February 2020.