The UK government announcement of a £1bn fund for its struggling communities represents less than 10% of what UK regions would receive if the UK remained in the EU, according to recent research carried out by the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR).  

Plans to replace EU Cohesion Policy funding in the UK are due to be firmed up during the Comprehensive Spending Review later this year which should lead to the creation of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The Stronger Towns Fund runs for a seven-year period and consists of a £1bn fund allocated to English regions (except London) and £600m available under competitive bidding.

The maps below compare the CPMR projections, published in January, for ERDF/ESF allocations at regional level for 2021 – 2027 with the breakdown of the UK Stronger Towns Fund allocations at regional level (source: The Guardian)

The comparison shows significant discrepancies, particularly in the South West of England which includes Cornwall & Isles of Scilly as a ‘less developed region’.

The Members of the CPMR Political Bureau meet in Brest (Brittany, FR) on 7 March to discuss the impact of Brexit at regional level, amongst other issues.

Notes to the editor:

  • The CPMR carried out a projection of the theoretical share of European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund + funding for the United Kingdom for the 2021-2027 period if it remained a member of the European Union.
  • This work is based on the allocation methodology for ERDF and ESF for the post-2020 period published on 29 May 2018 by the European Commission (Annex XXII of the Common Provisions Regulation – CPR).
  • CPMR projections per UK region have been converted from EUR to GBP and aggregated at NUTS 1 level to allow for a better comparison with the Stronger Towns Fund regional breakdown
  • The CPMR is a European organisation representing the interests of 160 regions from 25 countries from the European Union and beyond. The UK Members of the CPMR include the Welsh Government, several local authorities in Scotland, and Cornwall Council and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council in England. It carried out this exercise in the context of the uncertainty of Brexit, and it forms part of a broader body of work carried out by the CPMR on Cohesion Policy funding mechanisms to understand the impact of the negotiations for the benefits of its Members.