While many commentators have said that the UK will save money from not having to contribute to the European Union’s Budget, many overlook the funds that we receive from the EU. The following represents a brief summary of funds, the loss of access to which, though they are not often mentioned, will cause serious difficulties for their current recipients.
The UK’s biggest receipts are in European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds and the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund. For the current 2014-2020 funding period the UK has been allocated €17.2bn and €22.5bn from these funds respectively. Scotland has been allocated €872mn in ESI Funds.
ESI funds are for reducing disparities between regions and to help less developed regions to catch up. The bulk of this UK funding comes through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), with an allocation of €5.8bn of EU funds, and the European Social Fund (ESF) with an allocation of €4.9bn.
Various organisations receive ESI funding, including third sector and not for profit organisations, local authorities, registered charities, higher and further education institutions, voluntary and community organisations, statutory and non-statutory public funded bodies, and the public or private sector.
UK Universities receive research, development and innovation funding. After Germany, the UK is the second highest recipient among leading Member States, with around 14% of funds allocated from the Horizon 2020 programme – around €4.7bn. British universities are in the top four higher education recipients. Typical aggregate value of direct funding is around £1-1.5bn per year. By July 2018, Scottish organisations had received €533mn or 11.2% of total UK receipts.
Between 2014-2017 UK Universities also received €507mn ERASMUS funding to enable various student exchanges. Scotland received €64.8mn or 13% of grants received in the UK.
Since its founding in 1958, the UK has received €118bn in loans from the European Investment Bank (8.5% of the total lent). Between 2016-2018, there were €2bn loans for projects in Scotland (21% of the UK loan value).
The UK Government has made proposals for a ‘Shared Prosperity Fund’ to replace EU Structural Funds, but there are no details available yet. There may be other ways in which some EU funding can be replaced and there may be ways in which some funds may continue.
Leslie Huckfield has worked on EU and other funding for projects since the 1980s. He is interested in hearing from organisations and individuals concerned about loss of EU and other funds and their possible replacement by the UK Government’s proposed Shared Prosperity Fund or other funding programmes which may be available.
Leslie Huckfield anticipates this his new updated Policy Forum website will go live after Easter, but you can register your concern, with details of funding in which you are interested, before then. He is interested in possible replacements for EU funding to the UK and Scotland, which will cease at the end of 2020. There may also be other funds in which you are interested.
Leslie Huckfield has been a Government Minister, Member of the House of Commons and Member of the European Parliament. He has worked on EU and other funding since the 1980s. He was the European Funding Manager for St Helens College in Merseyside from 1989-1992, Coordinator of the Merseyside Colleges' European Office from 1992-1995 and Principal External Funding Manager for Wirral Metropolitan College from 1995-1997.
From 1997-2004 he coordinated European Funding for the Association of Colleges in the West Midlands, including his membership of the Regional Development Agency Advantage West Midlands Task Force. He also worked on projects in Eastern European countries, including the Baltics and Poland.
Since moving to Scotland in 2004, he has worked on EU funding and other projects. Throughout 2015 he conducted a series of eleven Funding Masterclasses on current EU funding programmes for third sector organisations across Scotland, attended by representatives of more than 500 organisations.
Though based in Scotland, he also spends time in England, Wales and Ireland.