In the 2014-2020 funding programme, North Ayrshire has been directly allocated £5,925,755 from the European Social Fund (ESF) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which together make up the European Structural and Investment Funds and are managed in Scotland by the SNP Government.
North Ayrshire Council (NAC) is receiving £3,959,133.86 from the ESF to support their actions to improve people’s lives through learning new skills and finding better jobs.
NAC is receiving a further £1,966,621.56 from the ERDF to support the Ayrshire-wide Business Competitiveness Programme. This will contribute to the ERDF’s aim to strengthen economic and social cohesion by correcting imbalances between regions.
Other national projects also work to improves the lives of North Ayrshire residents and across Scotland, the SNP Government is administering £771 million in European Structural and Investment Funds from 2014-2020.
Despite repeated pressing from the SNP Government, the UK Tory Government has provided little clarity on its proposals for the replacement of ESF and ERDF through the Shared Prosperity Fund. The planned consultation by the UK Government to the Devolved Administrations is currently shelved, due to the chaotic nature of the UK’s exit from the European Union.
Nevertheless, the SNP Government remains committed to developing its own thinking on future funding arrangements and will undertake its own consultation, overseen by an external steering group, to develop a coherent and robust position to ensure that the best interests of Scotland are met.
Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“Despite the Prime Minister stating in the House of Commons that a consultation on the Shared Prosperity Fund would take place by the end of 2018, the UK Government is still no further forward in developing a replacement for these European funds which have proved so effective in North Ayrshire and beyond.
“Any gap in funding puts the continuity of everything ranging from NAC’s large-scale employability and business competitive programmes to smaller community projects at risk. The UK Government needs to stop dragging its heels and engage with the SNP Government, which has taken a pro-active approach to considering future funding streams.”
The full breakdown of ESF and ERDF allocations to North Ayrshire Council can be viewed below.