When the UK leaves the EU funding streams that have supported businesses and organisations throughout Scotland will cease and new sources of support will be required.
“Between 2014 and 2020, €941 million has been allocated towards support for economic development in Scotland. So far, around 50% has been committed to projects. Match funding from the Scottish public sector means the [European Structural and Investment Funds] ESIFs could result in an overall investment of around €1.9 billion in the Scottish economy over the course of the 2014 – 2020 period.”
The Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee of the Scottish Parliament is looking into the effectiveness of the funding and what it should be replaced with.
“The Scottish Government distributes funds to lead partners, such as policy directorates, agencies and local authorities, who provide match funding and then distribute funding to individual projects and organisations.
“ESIFs currently help fund a number of economic development programmes in Scotland, supporting public bodies such as Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the Funding Council, Skills Development Scotland, local authorities and some of the work of the Scottish Government itself for a wide range of activities, including skills and training programmes, research and development, support to business and the development of infrastructure.”
Gordon Lindhurst MSP, Convener of the Committee, said:
“ESIFs aim to achieve EU priorities in areas such as employment, innovation, education, poverty reduction and climate change and renewable energy.
“The Committee wants to ‘follow the money’, by hearing the views of the Scottish Government and local government, as well as those individuals, businesses and organisations who are impacted by ESIF funding.”
The Committee is now consulting on this and in particular on the following:
1. How the Scottish Government identified and agreed spending priorities for its current ESIF allocations.
2. The processes the Scottish Government went through with the European Commission to gain approval for its ESIF plans.
3. The involvement of SG agencies, local authorities and the third sector at this stage of the process.
4. How the differing needs of Scotland’s regions are accounted for in the current range of ESIF programmes.
5. How the 2014-2020 programme funding is being spent, which areas have benefitted and any issues with these commitments or processes.
6. Understanding current accountability and reporting issues.
7. How current and previous programmes are evaluated and any suggested improvements to the evaluation process.
8. How any future replacement of ESIFs could be used to improve employment, infrastructure and productivity in Scotland’s regions.
9. Which level of government is best placed to decide how future funding is allocated and what accountability processes should be in place?
10. What are the potential opportunities and risks presented by any replacement fund or programme for ESIFs?
How to submit written evidence
Written submissions should be typewritten in Word format (preferably no more than 4-6 sides of A4 in total).
The deadline for receipt of written submissions is Friday 13 April 2018.
Submissions should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or : Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee, Room T3.40, Scottish Parliament, Holyrood, Edinburgh EH99 1SP