The Replacement of European Structural Funds
SCDI believes in an economy that benefits all of Scotland, harnessing the full economic potential of all of our people, communities and regions. As a key part of EU Cohesion Policy, the European Structural Funds have played an important role in supporting inclusive and sustainable economic growth across Scotland for over four decades.
However, as the UK has left the EU, this will end after the conclusion of the transition period on 31 December 2020. It is important that there is long-term, strategic investment in Scotland’s regions to ensure a strong, successful Scottish economy. Levels of regional inequality are stubbornly and unacceptably high.
SCDI has responded to a Scottish Government consultation on this issue on behalf of our members. We continue to call on the UK Government to provide the necessary clarity on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, its proposed replacement for European Structural Funds.
Our response also argues that the replacement should:
- Result in no loss of funding for Scotland, with a commitment from the UK Government to ensure that the value of future funding at least matches current levels of funding from the EU in real terms.
- More effectively target investment in the worst performing regions than under the status quo based on smaller, more appropriate and more recognised geographical areas.
- Focus investment in six priority areas of Poverty & Inequality, Net-Zero, Innovation & Business Growth, Connectivity, Skills & Employability and Place.
- Adhere to the principle of additionality, ensuring that it adds value and does not replace other existing funding.
- Adhere to the principle of subsidiarity, including respect for the devolution settlement and local or regional fund management within a national framework.
- Deliver better coordination and complementarity across devolved and reserved funding and policies, especially the UK Industrial Strategy and City Region or Inclusive Growth Deals.
You can download our full response below.