Leeds City Region to receive £84m of European funded projects
25 August 2016
Over £84m of European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) activity is set to move across the Leeds City Region following assurances from the government on the future of EU funding.
Contracts worth around £42m of grant funding are now being finalised to help businesses become more competitive through projects including digital skills and export support, improvements to broadband infrastructure, support to help people move into work and to make businesses operations’ more resource efficient.
This will be matched by a further £42m from other public and private resources to support businesses and communities across the Leeds City Region.
The government has assured the future of EU funding earlier this month, which included a commitment that all projects signed before the Autumn Statement later this year will be fully funded, even if these projects continue beyond the UK’s departure from the EU.
In addition, the government is assessing whether funding for projects which may be signed off after the Autumn Statement, but while the UK remains a member of the EU, could also receive funding.
Roger Marsh OBE, chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and chair of the ESIF Sub-Committee, said:
"The European funding we secured as part of our €389m ESIF allocation in 2014 is an important tool to help us deliver our ambitions set out in our revised Strategic Economic Plan for the region to transform the economy and create thousands of new jobs.
"The sooner we can start delivering on these important projects, the sooner we will start to feel the benefits of a stronger, prosperous and thriving City Region economy at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse.
"This confirmation from government means we can start to deliver vital support for businesses that we know is in demand in our region, such as a new start-up finance for new and early-stage firms with growth ambitions and help for businesses to explore opportunities in international markets.“
Cllr Peter Box, chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, commented:
"We are pleased some of our key projects have the reassurance and security that they can start delivering over the next three years, particularly those that will be helping to support communities in the local area.
"What is now important, is similar reassurances from government on how quickly our further planned activity can also progress and we will be seeking clarity from Ministers ahead of the Autumn Statement.“
A further £60m of ESIF projects are currently in the appraisal stage and could be considered for funding approval prior to the Autumn Statement later this year.