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DON’T CLOSE THE DOOR ON EUROPEAN FUNDING, SAY ORGANISATIONS ACROSS THE UK

50 organisations from across Britain have come together to call on government to maintain the UK’s participation in EU transnational cross-border funding programmes.

Over 50 organisations have today sent to ministers and MPs a statement calling on the UK to remain part of the EU’s cross-border funding programmes after Brexit. The campaign is supported by a wide range of public and private sector bodies, including councils, universities, local enterprise agencies and charities.

Over the past 25 years, these programmes known as European Territorial Cooperation (ETC), or Interreg for short, have invested millions of pounds into local and regional economies across Britain in order to boost investment, create jobs, protect the environment and to improve the skills of our young people. Since 2014 (the start of the current funding period), there have been 127 projects approved in Scotland, worth a total EU grant value of approximately £56 million. Since 2000, there have been 1453 ETC projects at work across the UK.

The joint statement calls upon the government to negotiate the UK’s continued participation in these programmes so that UK organisations can continue to cooperate with our European neighbours for the benefit of our local communities. Without our participation in Interreg, many local initiatives that improve the lives of our local residents would simply not be able to happen.

Cllr Will Dawson, chair of the East of Scotland European Consortium (ESEC) said “Making the case for participating in Interreg post-Brexit has always been a priority for ESEC and our member councils. Three of our members have already approved motions to this effect, and have written to the UK Government to make these positions known. The EU has already made provisions for the UK taking part in the Interreg programme post-Brexit, a testament to the knowledge and experience we bring to partnerships. The ball is now in the court of the UK Government, which needs to make this happen.”

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