More than £1bn of EU structural funds have been invested in schemes across Wales
Sixty per cent of the latest round of EU funds have been committed by the end of November – meeting the Cabinet Secretary’s target.
The Finance Secretary has also confirmed that the Welsh Government will continue to negotiate directly with the UK Government about future regional funding so Wales does not lose out when the UK leaves the European Union.
Speaking ahead of today’s Wales Programme Monitoring Committee meeting for European structural and investment funds, Professor Drakeford said:
“These latest figures show how we are continuing to invest EU funds to provide stability for businesses and people across Wales, helping local economies and the labour market.
“We have now invested £1.16bn of the 2014 -20 EU Structural Funds allocation for Wales, supporting schemes including apprenticeships; the Wales Business Fund; Cardiff University’s Brain Imaging Centre; the Menai Science Park and Deep Green marine energy technology.
“This achievement follows our success in securing an extended guarantee from the UK Government to cover all investments in projects approved before the UK leaves the EU.
“Wales voted to leave the EU but it did not vote to see investment in Wales cut by the UK Government.
“Wales must not lose a single penny of funding as a result of Brexit. We are negotiating directly with the UK Government to ensure devolved policies and funding – such as future regional funding – comes directly to the Welsh Government from the EU. There must be no rolling back of devolution.”
Julie Morgan, chair of the Wales Programme Monitoring Committee (PMC) 2014-20, said:
“It is crucial we work quickly to invest this funding in schemes which meet our programme objectives and we maximise every EU funding opportunity to benefit businesses, communities and people before the UK leaves the EU.
“As chair of the PMC, I will do everything to ensure that we stay focused on delivery and get the best possible value for money from all the EU-funded programmes.
“I am also pleased the PMC will have the opportunity to discuss the future of regional funding in Wales. We remain an active part of the EU until the UK leaves and I hope these discussions can inform the debate underway across the EU about the future of EU regional policy, as well as help prepare Wales for our future outside the EU.”