About the Inquiry
European structural funding supports economic development across all EU countries and is intended to promote smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. In Scotland, the structural funds are composed of two similar sized funds: the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF). Across 2014-20 Scotland has been allocated a maximum of €476 million from the ERDF and €465 million from the ESF.
The allocation of structural funds is based on an EU-wide formula that defines three categories of regions by GDP per capita. Depending on the categorisation, the formula used to calculate regional allocations differs. For the region categories found in Scotland (‘more developed’ and ‘transition’) the formula is based on population, employment levels, education indicators, GDP and rurality.
LEADER funding is also included within the terms of this inquiry as, although it is not funded through structural funds, it seeks to achieve similar outcomes to those of structural funding.
In a post-Brexit environment, the extent to which the UK would continue to participate in EU funding streams or what would replace such funding streams remains to be agreed. To date the UK Government has proposed that it will replace European structural funding with a UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) which will "respect the devolution settlement" and aimed at reducing inequalities between communities across the UK.
The purpose of this inquiry is therefore to explore the experience of lead partners, delivery agents and beneficiaries to help inform the design of any future funding of structural priorities in Scotland post-Brexit.
In order to inform its inquiry, the Committee invited written responses to a number of questions as set out in the call for evidence.
Read the call for evidence.
The deadline for responses was Thursday 25 April 2019.
The following responses were received:
The responses have been summarised below:
Members of the Committee met with delegates from a range of public and third sector organisations to discuss experiences of the current EU structural funding approach as well as future options for the design of funding for structural priorities in Scotland, post-Brexit. The Committee held engagement workshops from 3 to 4 June 2019 in Inverness, Dunfermline and Paisley. A summary note of points raised during each of the workshop discussions is provided below:
In Spring 2018 the Committee invited written evidence on the Funding of EU Competences post-Brexit. The Committee then took oral evidence in a roundtable format from a number of stakeholders on 13 June 2018.
Further information is available on the Committee’s website.
The current inquiry is intended to build upon the Committee’s findings from its previous inquiry whilst focussing specifically on the funding of EU structural fund priorities in Scotland, post-Brexit.
The Committee received the following correspondence from the National Assembly for Wales regarding proposals for a shared prosperity fund:
Our Convener replied to the letter with the following:
The Committee received the following correspondence from Ivan McKee, Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation to Convener on the formation of a steering group to oversee the consultation that will address the replacement for European Structural Funds.