Sheffield’s growth hopes dashed by cuts

James Newman
James Newman
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The Sheffield region’s economic regeneration hopes have suffered a major setback after Business Secretary Vince Cable slashed European aid for the region by half.

Local Enterprise Partnership chairman James Newman led the condemnation after Dr Cable announced the Sheffield City Region will receive a £174 million slice of £5.6 billion worth of European funding for the next seven years.

Mr Newman told The Star:“The LEP, along with local MPs and leaders, has continuously made the case to Government that EU funds will be well spent in the Sheffield City Region.

“It is clear that our arguments have been ignored and our EU funding allocation has been cut by about a half. This will have a hugely negative impact on jobs and growth in the Sheffield City Region.

“The Government has chosen not to protect the Sheffield City Region from the sudden falls in the EU funding, and has chosen to protect the devolved administrations in the UK instead.”

Mr Newman and colleagues feared the worst after the Government revealed earlier this year that it planned to switch funds from England to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The switch was designed to protect those regions from a sudden reduction in regeneration funds – but ignored the fact that English regions like South Yorkshire and Merseyside faced similar threats.

Sheffield Central Labour MP Paul Blomfield said: “This is another case of Sheffield getting a raw deal.

“This money was intended by the EU for South Yorkshire, recognising the needs of the area. We have been robbed by the Government, which has diverted the money elsewhere.”

Both the Sheffield and Liverpool City Regions have secured around three per cent of total European funding being shared out among the English regions by the Government.

That compares with around six per cent for Leeds and Manchester.