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Suffolk and Norfolk could see less funding through Government's UK Shared Prosperity Fund



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Suffolk and Norfolk is receiving about 20 per cent less of the funding it used to get each year from the European Union, an analysis has revealed.

The two counties have been allocated some £27m of funding over the next three years from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) – a grant pot designed by the government to replace money that used to come from the EU.

But on average, an analysis by the Local Democracy Reporting Service shows that Norfolk and Suffolk are together receiving about £2.3m less per year than they used to, even before inflation since the UK’s days as an EU member is accounted for.

In total, Norfolk has been allocated some £15m over the next three years and Suffolk about £12m. Picture: iStock
In total, Norfolk has been allocated some £15m over the next three years and Suffolk about £12m. Picture: iStock

In each year from 2014 until 2020, the region received about £11.3m in European structural funds, which were used to boost innovation, businesses, skills and employment across the region, along with projects to improve social inclusion.

Under the UKSPF however, the counties are only receiving about £9m each year from April 2022 until April 2025.

The government has stressed that the money is “designed to succeed and improve upon EU structural funds. The UKSPF is not a direct replacement for EU structural funds”.

They add: “It improves on these funds by focusing on UK priorities rather than policies dictated by the EU [and] giving local areas a greater say in investments, by giving more direct accountability to elected local leaders.”

In total, Norfolk has been allocated some £15m over the next three years and Suffolk about £12m.

West Suffolk Council agreed its investment plan for its £1.9 million share of the UKSPF at a meeting this week, which will now go to Westminster.

Councillor John Griffiths, leader of the council, said: "I am pleased that we are able to seize this opportunity for West Suffolk to secure new Government funding to further help our communities and businesses.

"While this money is very welcome it is in addition to the millions of pounds we invest as a council or attract from other partners to improve the wellbeing, prosperity, and environment of West Suffolk."

Breckland Council hopes to use its £1.6m three-year allocation to support skills programmes, including green skills courses to ensure the district has a skilled workforce contributing towards the government’s target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

It also plans to spend it on ‘quick wins’ to improve town centres, such as improving accessibility for disabled people, as well as supporting new start-up businesses.