A study published by the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership on 22nd February outlines the funding the New Anglia area has got from the EU since 2007, and shows how much we have to lose by triggering Article 50.
Since the result of the referendum to leave the European Union in June 2016 there has been much discussion over when the process will begin and what it will mean for our economy, as Theresa May plans to withdraw from the EU Single Market and Customs Union.
The New Anglia LEP work to “help grow jobs, drive innovation and increase productivity in Norfolk and Suffolk” and Managing Director, Chris Starkie, said: “We’ve commissioned this research to look at the potential economic impact of Brexit on our region”.
The study revealed that there has been a total of £1.9 billion invested into the New Anglia area from EU funding including the European Investment Bank and the Horizon 2020 Framework Programmes for Research and Development meaning the total will increase by 2020.
The report’s Executive Summary states that in the process of leaving the EU where the outcome of negotiations is still relatively unpredictable, it intended to “provide a sound basis for New Anglia LEP to appraise the situation, as regards any potential impact occurring through a loss of EU funding”.
If we want to know how the loss of this funding will directly effect Norfolk, we can see exactly where the money goes to. For example, for the 2007-2013 period over £1.5 million was invested by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) in Norfolk, which has been used to improve aquaculture, processing and marketing, and the competitiveness of the fisheries sector.
The study uses a case study of Southwold Harbour in Suffolk which was able to be repaired and upgraded in 2011 because of EU funding, and is just one of many aquatic areas in the New Anglia region which will be affected by the departure from the EU.
Jonathan Millins, Head of the East of England European Partnership said: “The report highlights the importance and value of European funding to the New Anglia LEP area”.
Another sector of EU funding is the European Social Fund (ESF) which contributes to a number of ‘priorities’. With the East of England being a Competitiveness and Employment region, these priorities are: extending employment opportunities, developing a skilled and adaptable workforce, and technical assistance. Between 2007-2013 the East of England received £189 million from the ESF, of which £70,000 went directly to Norfolk County Council as part of the Norfolk Economic Participation project.
Other projects EU funding has contributed to in the Norfolk area include major works on the A11 and A14, and providing new rolling stock for Abellio Greater Anglia.