Cornwall faces crisis over post-Brexit grants says councillor

Sea view near Lizard Point
The council said it was waiting to hear from the government on the situation post 2025

A Cornwall councillor has said the money the county council receives from the government to replace EU grants lost due to Brexit will run out in a month’s time.

It would leave more than £230m of fund applications by Cornish communities and businesses unmet, said councillor Tim Dwelly, Cornwall Council's shadow cabinet member for economy.

He described the expected shortfall as “devastating”.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLHC) said it was "on track" to meet its "commitment to match EU structural funds received by Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly".

'Very sad'

The government said in 2021 that "total funding through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (SPF) will at a minimum match the size of EU funds in each nation and in Cornwall each year".

Cornwall Council was expecting to get an average of £100m a year until 2025, but it had received about £43m a year, said the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Mr Dwelly said: "These figures are devastating.

"They show that Cornwall’s disappointing SPF allocation will have been all spent by next month.

"It’s depressing to see that over £230m of funds applied for will now be refused.

"The applications from Cornish community groups and businesses were for almost three times the amount Cornwall got."

Independent councillor and former leader of Cornwall Council Julian German said: "It’s very sad that this isn’t happening as it will harm people’s prospects and the vitality of our communities."

Conservative councillor Linda Taylor, leader of Cornwall Council, said she had written to the government to highlight the importance of an extension to the SPF programme beyond 2025.

A Cornwall Council spokesperson said: “We await confirmation from the government of how and when the next tranche of funding after 2025 will be delivered, and we will continue to push for a fair deal for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly."

The DLHC said in a statement: "We are on track to meet our commitment to match EU structural funds received by Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly with £132 million allocated through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

"Funding after March 2025 is a matter for the Spending Review in 2024."

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