UK government needs a plan to boost poorest regions following Brexit

5th Jul 2016

Billions of funding, worth £8.6 billion, to boost the economies of the poorest parts of the country must be protected following Brexit.

JRF, based in the North of England, is calling on the Government to ensure it has comprehensive plans in place to boost regional economies after the UK has left the EU.

The call is prompted by analysis of European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF). It shows the funding each Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area is allocated to receive.

The cash is crucial to ensure regions do not fall further behind. England receives almost £5.6 billion to share between its 39 LEPs, Wales receives £1.9 billion, Scotland £720 million and Northern Ireland £414 million. The money is allocated to 2020.

The 12 regions which receive the most EU funding.

The official Leave campaign said it would honour existing EU grants until 2020, including funds for regional development. European funding plays an important part in mitigating the effects of poverty in some of the poorest areas of the country - ones that also voted in favour of leaving the EU.

For example, between 2014 and 2020:

  • Cornwall is allocated £863 per head (£476 million for the region)
  • Wales: £627 per head (£1.9 billion for the region)
  • Tees Valley: £243 per head (£162 million for the region)
  • North Eastern: £221 per head (£430 million for the region)

In the 11 Northern Powerhouse LEPs, £2 billion is at stake. Alongside Tees Valley and North Eastern listed above, the remaining Northern regions, allocated per region, per head receive:

  • Greater Manchester £333 million, £121 per head
  • Leeds City Region - £314 million, £103
  • Lancashire - £213 million, £144
  • Liverpool City Region - £178 million, £116
  • Sheffield - £167 million, £90
  • Cheshire - £114 million, £124
  • Humber - £82 million, £88
  • Cumbria - £74 million, £147
  • York, North Yorkshire and East Yorkshire - £73 million, £64

JRF says it is vital that whatever happens in the negotiations, the UK holds onto the allocated cash and that it is not clawed back following Brexit. The analysis shows that after 2020, it is crucial the UK government has a plan in place to help regions create prosperous local economies and ensure growth is shared across the country. 

Helen Barnard, head of analysis at JRF, said: 

“The referendum campaign and its aftermath has exposed the extent to which people in the poorest places feel shut out from the benefits of the country’s prosperity. These figures show the challenge in ensuring they do not fall further behind from lost EU funding after 2020.

“We urge the government to ensure allocated funding is not lost, but that it also has a long-term plan in place to improve living standards in struggling areas. This means working with town halls, LEPs and businesses to create more and better jobs across the country. Otherwise important initiatives like the Northern Powerhouse risk withering after Brexit.

“Brexit must be used to ensure we create an economy where prosperity is shared by all and no area is left behind. This means supporting the Northern Powerhouse and the core cities, but also the overlooked towns beyond them, which often miss out and need to see real improvements over the next few years.”

Recent JRF research on uneven growth has shown 10 of the 12 UK’s struggling cities are located in the Northern Powerhouse and outside the Core Cities – the biggest outside of London.

Full breakdown for all regions

Funding by region
Region Population Funding (Euros) Funding (£ 2014 prices) Funding per head (2014 prices)
England 54,786,300 6,937,200,000 5,594,796,302 £102.12
Wales 3,099,100 2,412,500,000 1,945,661,950 £627.82
Scotland 5,373,000 894,600,000 721,487,743 £134.28
Northern Ireland 1,851,600 513,400,000 414,052,993 £223.62
LEP area Population Funding (Euros) Funding (£ 2014 Prices) Funding per head (2014 Prices)
Black Country 1,166,400 176,600,000 142,426,487 £122.11
Buckinghamshire Thames Valley 528,400 13,800,000 11,129,590 £21.06
Cheshire and Warrington 917,000 141,600,000 114,119,267 £124.54
Coast to Capital 1,996,400 67,000,000 54,034,964 £27.07
Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly 551,700 590,400,000 476,152,877 £863.06
Coventry and Warwickshire 899,400 135,500,000 109,279,666 £121.50
Cumbria 498,000 91,000,000 73,390,772 £91.04
Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire 2,161,400 244,000,000 196,784,048 £49.61
Dorset 765,700 47,100,000 37,985,773 £49.61
Enterprise M3 1,675,200 45,500,000 36,695,386 £21.91
Gloucestershire 617,200 38,100,000 30,727,345 £49.79
Greater Birmingham and Solihull 1,996,200 254,800,000 205,494,162 £102.94
Greater Cambridge & Greater Peterborough 1,423,300 75,200,000 60,648,198 £42.61
Greater Lincolnshire 1,066,100 133,000,000 107,263,436 £100.61
Greater Manchester 2,756,200 413,800,000 333,726,390 £121.08
Heart of the South West 1,714,600 117,800,000 95,004,758 £55.41
Hertfordshire 1,166,300 69,200,000 55,809,246 £47.85
Humber 925,100 102,000,000 82,262,184 £88.92
Lancashire 1,478,100 265,200,000 213,881,678 £144.70
Leeds City Region 3,026,700 389,500,000 314,128,634 £103.79
Leicestershire 1,017,900 125,700,000 101,376,044 £99.59
Liverpool 1,524,600 220,900,000 178,154,083 £116.85
London 8,673,700 745,400,000 601,159,137 £69.31
New Anglia 1,626,900 94,100,000 75,890,897 £46.65
North Eastern 1,957,200 537,400,000 433,408,801 £221.44
Northamptonshire 723,000 54,800,000 44,195,762 £61.13
Oxfordshire LEP 677,800 19,300,000 15,565,296 £22.96
Sheffield City Region 1,842,200 207,200,000 167,105,142 £90.71
Solent 1,590,600 42,900,000 34,598,507 £21.75
South East 4,132,300 185,100,000 149,281,669 £36.13
South East Midlands 1,807,100 87,900,000 70,890,647 £39.23
Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire 1,114,200 160,900,000 129,764,563 £116.46
Swindon and Wiltshire 703,300 43,400,000 35,001,753 £49.77
Tees Valley 667,500 201,700,000 162,669,436 £243.70
Thames Valley Berkshire 890,600 28,500,000 22,985,022 £25.81
The Marches 670,600 113,300,000 91,375,544 £136.26
West of England 1,118,800 68,300,000 55,083,404 £49.23
Worcestershire 578,600 67,800,00 54,680,158 £94.50
York and North Yorkshire 1,145,800 91,700,000 73,955,316 £64.54