A £7.34 billion blackhole in the economies of Norfolk and Suffolk could open up after Brexit with severe consequences for the area, local Labour MEP Alex Mayer has warned following publication of research from the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP).
The report published on 22nd February 2017 states that over £1.54 billion of finance through the European Investment Bank and £365million worth of EU grant funding has been received by the New Anglia LEP since 2007 for the purpose of stimulating economic growth, leveraging a total investment of a least £7.34 billion.
Local water company Anglian Water has received nearly £800 million to deliver cleaner water and manage waste sludge, whilst local train operator Abellio Greater Anglia received £58 million to invest in new trains.
Ms. Mayer said “This report shows a huge amount of EU money has been invested in Norfolk and Suffolk and even greater sums when match funding is taken into account. There are no guarantees that our Government will protect it.
“I’m worried about a looming funding black hole and don’t want our area to lose out. We’ve already seen the Government say it will prioritise the City of London in Brexit negotiations and I afraid that will lead to Norfolk and Suffolk getting less.
“European funding has always been regional and tried to fight deprivation. I have no faith that the current government will share this aspiration and this could have a devastating effect on local communities in Norfolk and Suffolk.
I’m calling on the government to guarantee that money will continue to be invested locally and to make sure that local communities are not decimated by Brexit”