- Gerald Jones, MP for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney demands clarity from UK Government on Shared Prosperity Fund, proposed to replace EU funding post-Brexit
- Wales told by Leave campaign before EU referendum it ‘wouldn’t lose a penny’ in funding after Brexit
- Merthyr Tydfil has received £36m in vital EU funding for projects in last 15 years
- The Upper Rhymney Valley has received £16m in vital EU funding for projects in last 15 years
- UK Government was due to publish information on Shared Prosperity Fund by end of 2018 – details still yet to be released
In a Parliament debate on the replacement of EU development funding after Brexit, Gerald Jones MP urged the UK Government to provide clarity on its Shared Prosperity Fund, which is proposed to replace EU funding to less developed regions of the UK after leaving the EU.
Since 2000, Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney constituency has seen £52 million of investment from the EU in structural funds – payments from the European Regional Development Fund, designed to invest in the more deprived EU countries and regions, helping to develop iconic projects such as Merthyr Tydfil College, Penderyn Square, the Winding House and the Heads of the Valleys Road.
Post-Brexit, this funding will gradually stop. Back in 2017 the UK Government announced a UK-managed ‘Shared Prosperity Fund’ to replace it, and promised to release details of this fund in 2018, but two years on no further information has been shared and MPs from across parties are urging the Government to provide answers.
Speaking in the debate in Parliament, Gerald said: “We benefited from regional development funding quite simply because we needed it, which is why it is essential that we now have clarity from the Government about the future for the shared prosperity fund.
“The Government have not been clear about their proposal for the fund. We were promised, as we have heard, that consultation would take place before the end of 2018, and we are now halfway through 2019. There is no sign of the consultation; that is completely unacceptable.
“A few weeks ago in Wales Questions, I asked the Secretary of State for Wales to provide clarity on the fund and how it would work, what areas of the country would benefit, and how much the fund would be—and there was no answer. I hope that today the Minister will provide some of the clarity that is needed.”
Click here to watch Gerald’s speech in full: https://bit.ly/2KFeiGg