Caroline Flint, Labour MP for Don Valley, took part this week in a Westminster Hall debate on the UK’s Shared Prosperity Fund, secured by South Yorkshire Mayor, Dan Jarvis MP.
The Shared Prosperity Fund is designed to replace the money that the UK would have received in EU funding.
The debate followed a recent report by the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR), which estimated that the UK would have been entitled to approximately 13 billion euros of regional development funding between the 2021-2027 if we had stayed in the European Union.
The report also analysed funding for each UK region and concluded that South Yorkshire would have received £605 million to support economic growth over the same period.
Caroline said in the debate that the Shared Prosperity Fund needed to consider not just the North/South divide, but also the funding divide between towns and cities.
She said: “Whatever happens in the future, unless there is an offer for our smaller towns and communities, no fund is going to match the expectations – and counter the demoralisation – of those communities.”
Caroline, speaking after the debate, said: “It’s important that the Government considers how much South Yorkshire would have received in EU funds - £605 million – and allocates a fair share.
“The Government is yet to outline its priorities and objectives for its Fund – as well as the method of allocating money. It’s important that this debate is held while the Government is still making up its mind, so that we can influence how the Government thinks about it.
“I took the opportunity today to present my view that the Fund needs to look beyond our cities to prioritise investment in our towns. It’s important that local people in Don Valley feel like they have a stake in the Shared Prosperity Fund.”