The politicians are to meet with local organisations to discuss the future of EU Structural Funding.
The visits will help inform the Committee’s current parliamentary inquiry which will examine how Scotland’s share of post-Brexit structural funding should be determined.
About structural funding:
Between 2014 and 2020, up to €1 billion in European structural funding is allocated to Scotland under the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) programme. Also included in the Committee’s inquiry is LEADER funding which supports rural development.
After 2020, the UK Government proposes to fund structural fund priorities through a UK Shared Prosperity Fund, but the detail has yet to be set out.
Finance & Constitution Committee Convener Bruce Crawford MSP said:
“The UK Government has proposed that it will replace European structural funding with a UK Shared Prosperity Fund, aimed at reducing inequalities between communities across the UK.
“It is not clear how this fund will operate. We therefore want to hear views about this fund and where responsibility for decisions about funding levels and allocation should be taken – at UK Government level, Scottish Government level, local government level or by local stakeholders?
“We want to know how the Structural fund priorities of promoting social inclusion, helping small businesses and reducing inequality in rural communities and urban areas across Scotland should be funded in the event of Brexit.”
Mr Crawford added:
“Currently structural funds can contribute almost €1 billion towards supporting communities across Scotland. We are keen to hear from those who allocate and those who receive European Structural Funding.
“That’s why members of our committee are heading out across Scotland – to Inverness, Dunfermline and Paisley – to hear local views on how Scotland’s future share of structural funding should be determined.”
Monday 3 June – Inverness, Eden Court
MSPs Bruce Crawford, Alexander Burnett and Patrick Harvie will meet local representatives and organisations to discuss a range of issues including what works well or not so well in the administration of EU Structural Funds and what the priorities should be for post Brexit Funding in a Highland context.
Tuesday 4 June – Dunfermline, Carnegie Library
MSPs Murdo Fraser and James Kelly will meet local representatives and organisations to explore a range of matters including the current funding priorities for EU Structural and LEADER Funding and what good practices should be retained by any new funding approach.
Tuesday 4 June – Paisley, Renfrewshire House
MSPs Adam Tomkins, Tom Arthur, Emma Harper and Neil Bibby will meet local representatives and organisations to explore a range of issues such as the barriers to funding reaching the right projects as well as how flexible future funding arrangements should be.
Follow the Finance and Constitution Committee on twitter @SP_FinCon where updates and images from the visits can be found.
Find out more about the committee’s inquiry here.