Some of the biggest beneficiaries of EU funding could lose as much as £2 billion a year to London and the South East, according to new analysis.
Communities in Charge, a group of charities and community leaders, has found that London and the South East stand to benefit, while Wales in particular will suffer the most if funding is distributed by the UK in the same it is now.
The organisation investigated Treasury funding and found that under the same system, Wales will lose out on more than £2.3bn worth of funding over six years, the equivalent of nearly £750 per person, while Londoners will receive a £200 boost. The South West would also see a £1bn reduction in funding.
The UK government has pledged to launch a ‘Shared Prosperity Fund’ to replace EU funding lost as a result of Brexit. However, there are very few details about the fund or how it will be distributed.
Based on existing EU and UK funding structures, seven regions across the country would lose out. In contrast, London would see its funding rise nearly £1.9bn and the South East would receive a £1.1bn increase.
Welsh Assembly ministers have called on the UK government to allow devolved governments in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to determine how the replacement funding is spent.
A Welsh government spokesperson said: “Any proposals which seek to bypass the devolution settlement or take back decisions and funding which has been under Wales’ control for nearly 20 years are completely unacceptable.
“The UK government first floated this idea two years ago but has failed to provide any details about how the £370 million of EU structural and investment Wales currently receives every year will be replaced.”
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: “We know the importance of local growth funding to local places and of providing certainty on its future. That’s why we are engaging with stakeholders on the design of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and will consult widely.”