European funding for South Yorkshire was drying up before the Brexit vote, according to a new report.
Sheffield Council officers say the EU had already started to divert money away from South Yorkshire before the referendum and the vote had no bearing on funding.
Around £8.9m of EU grants are currently in the process of being approved or signed off by Sheffield Council while £3.76m of bids have been submitted to the EU for consideration. These may or may not be accepted, depending whether they meet EU criteria.
In a report to the Children and Young People’s scrutiny board, officers say: “Generally speaking the trend for Sheffield Council and other local authorities is that EU funding has already been decreasing over a number of years, prior to and regardless of the EU referendum being held or the result, with the EU redirecting funds to other regions of Europe outside of South Yorkshire.
“In addition to a reduced value of available EU funds to bid for, the council has also had other EU funding bids that have been submitted but which do not meet EU requirements or priorities and are not accepted. This occurs regardless of the referendum result.
“At other times the council does not pursue some of the available EU funds projects as these do not meet the council’s priorities. Again this occurs regardless of the referendum result.
“Most, if not all EU funding that the council has received in recent years is time limited and for specific projects. When each project closes and costs end, so does the EU funding.
“It is difficult to measure a direct causal link between current levels of temporary or project specific EU funding and the result of the referendum.”
The council says regardless of EU funding levels, its annual settlements from the Government are the major factor when it comes to levels of service provision and employment.