Liverpool City Region is lobbying the Government in a bid to prevent the loss of hundreds of millions of pounds in vital regeneration funding.
It follows the Government’s decision to take £650 million of European Union funding which the European Commission had awarded to England for 2014 – 2020 and reallocate it to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
It includes an estimated £350 million which the European Commission had ring-fenced for poorer areas (known as transition regions) such as Liverpool City Region.
It had been estimated the city region would receive around £400 million from 2014-2020 – but following the Government’s amendments there are fears this could be slashed by up to a half.
Mayor of Liverpool and Chair of Liverpool City Region Cabinet, Joe Anderson, said: “European funding has been critical to the successful regeneration of the city region over the last couple of decades.
“Everywhere you look, from the Arena and Convention Centre to the School of Tropical Medicine, John Lennon Airport to the Cruise Liner Terminal, there are physical reminders of the difference that funding from the European Union has made.
“It has created helped create thousands of jobs and boosted the economy to the tune of many tens of millions of pounds.
“Our big fear is that we could lose a massive chunk of the share of funding we expected to receive as the extra money allocated for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will come specifically from cash allocated for more deprived areas including ours.
“In effect this means that we will lose out while wealthier and more prosperous areas of England, many of which have never previously received EU funds, will gain at the expense of poorer areas.
“I outlined my concerns to European Commissioners during a visit to Brussels earlier this year, and we are now taking our case to the UK Government.”
From 2007-2013 Liverpool City Region received around £460 million from the European Social Fund and European Regional Development Fund.
Representatives from Liverpool City Region will join representatives from Sheffield City Region in meeting Business Minister Michael Fallon on Monday 10 June to argue that a safety net should be applied to the funding allocations to limit the reduction.
This is the rationale the Government used to transfer the money to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
10 key projects part funded by Europe since 1994:
• Echo Arena and BT Convention Centre (pictured) – £49.6 million
• European Capital of Culture programme – £13.5 million
• Cruise Liner Terminal – £7.8 million
• Pier Head Canal Link – £6.7 million
• Edge Lane improvements – £7.2 million
• National Bio-manufacturing Centre in Speke – £11.7 million
• Liverpool John Lennon Airport terminal – £12.1 million
• Liverpool South Parkway – £10.8 million
• Centre for Tropical & Infectious Diseases at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine – £9 million