BRIDGEND Borough Council is calling upon UK Government to urgently reconsider how it is proposing to replace regional aid plans previously available through European Union funding.
The call has been made after the area was excluded from the proposed Community Renewal Fund despite featuring some of the poorest communities in Europe and being ranked at number five on the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation.
Under UK Government plans, the Community Renewal Fund is a precursor to the Shared Prosperity Fund, which will form the planned long-term replacement for European structural funds.
Mark Shephard, Chief Executive of Bridgend Council said:
”It does not make any sense for Bridgend County Borough to be excluded from accessing this funding when the area has also been officially recognised as featuring some of the poorest communities not just in the UK, but in Europe.
Bridgend County Borough has previously benefitted from funding which has been used to develop vital community projects designed to help people learn new skills and find work. It has also supported the provision of essential investment within local communities, yet we have received no explanation as to why the area is no longer considered to be eligible for this support.
If this goes ahead, it will have a significant impact upon the council’s future ambitions and ability to support our most disadvantaged residents, and I will be contacting UK Government as a matter of urgency to register our concerns and to ask them to reconsider their plans.”