Since 2007, North Ayrshire has benefited from £20,118,317 of European Structural Investment Funds, managed in Scotland by the SNP Government to support projects to reduce poverty and promote growth.
This investment is split between the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which aims to strengthen economic and social cohesion by correcting imbalances between regions, and the European Social Fund (ESF), which aims to help people improve their lives by learning new skills and finding better jobs.
The SNP Government awarded £12,546,859 from the ESF to North Ayrshire Council to invest in its poverty, social inclusion, employability, and youth employment operations.
Projects that benefited from £6,389,024 of ERSF include North Ayrshire Employability Continuum; Skills for Growth; Ayrshire Business Gateway Plus; and the North Ayrshire Business Growth Programme.
In addition to projects led by North Ayrshire Council, there are six other strategic programmes in North Ayrshire which benefited from £2,953,589 from the Aspiring Communities Fund. This two-year fund which began in January 2017 and comes to a close in December 2018 is comprised of £1,181,434 from the ESF and £1,772,155 of backing directly from the SNP Government.
Commenting, Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“From large-scale employability programmes led by North Ayrshire Council, to grassroots community projects such as Cunninghame Furniture Recycling’s Better Homes Ayrshire project, European Structural Investment Funds are underpinning efforts to reduce inequality and promote sustainable growth in North Ayrshire and across Scotland.
“Seventeen months have passed since Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50 and began the process of dragging Scotland out of the European Union and yet we still have no clarity what will replace this essential funding stream post-Brexit. The UK Tory Government must guarantee a seamless and immediate transition to any new fund, to avoid any disastrous gaps in funding.”