Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, has said a UK replacement for EU funds that support organisations including charities has become an “overdue matter of increasing urgency”.
In a letter to Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Khan points out that details of the proposed UK Shared Prosperity Fund, the government-announced replacement for European Structural and Investment Funds, have been in short supply.
Voluntary sector organisations have been repeatedly calling for more information on a replacement for EU funding, which is worth about £500m a year to the sector.
Khan, who is backed by leaders from the local authority umbrella body London Councils, says existing EU funds help to promote economic development, train the workforce and tackle inequality and poverty.
“We want to draw your attention to an overdue matter of increasing urgency ahead of the forthcoming Budget: the UK replacement for nationally managed European Structural and Investment Funds and any successor to the national Local Growth Fund,” he writes.
He says the group wrote to the government on the subject in December 2017 but there has been “no visible progress in government thinking” since then.
He says the introduction of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund “provides an opportunity to create a less bureaucratic, fully -devolved and flexible single pot of long-term funding that builds on successes of the existing programmes”.
The letter has been written before the Chancellor unveils his Budget today.