Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove MP has today shot down claims from Cornwall Council that Cornwall will be short-changed under the Government’s new UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
The fund, due to be piloted next year, will replace former EU funding across the UK.
Speaking in Parliament today, St Austell and Newquay MP Steve Double said:
“The recent announcement by the Chancellor of a £220 million pilot scheme for the shared prosperity fund is a welcome step forward. However, there are some in Cornwall who claim that this is a sign that the Government will break their commitment to match the funding that places such as Cornwall received through the EU. Can my right hon. Friend confirm that the Government are committed to replacing EU funding, which amounted to £1.5 billion per year, in full, and that, as the Prime Minister has stated, Cornwall will receive its share in a dedicated pot?”
In response Michael Gove said:
“I can absolutely reassure my hon. Friend that, as set out at the spending review, funding for the UK shared prosperity fund will be increased so that it at least matches the EU receipts on average, which reached around £1.5 billion a year. We will publish a UK-wide framework in the spring, which will set out full details, and to help local areas prepare for the introduction of the SPF, we are providing the additional £220 million that my hon. Friend referred to. Of course, we will work closely with Cornwall to ensure that it gets the funding that it needs and for which he is such an effective advocate.”
Speaking after the debate, Steve said:
“I have been really disappointed, although not surprised, to see senior figures in the Liberal Democrat and Independent run Cornwall Council attempt to deliberately misinterpret the Government’s announcement of the Shared Prosperity Fund pilot.”
“I hope they will have listened to Michael Gove’s answer to my question today and will retract their damaging statements. We really do have to move on from the leadership at Cornwall Council always thinking the worst and taking a pessimistic view.”
“I look forward to continuing to work with the Government, and with Cornwall Council, when they can do so constructively, to ensure Cornwall gets a fair deal on this and all other matters through Brexit and beyond. It is time Cornwall Council’s Cabinet accepted the people of Cornwall and the UK voted to leave the EU, we now need to work together and provide positive leadership for the future.”