Scilly Making Case For Future EU Funding

St Mary's Quay may be earmarked for EU Funding

Scilly’s case for future European funding, the Vision 20-20 document, has been handed over in Brussels.

It says we’ll use future funds to improve our infrastructure at St Mary’s airport and the quay.

Bt the end of the Convergence Fund in 2015, the Islands and Cornwall will have received around £700m.

We’ve been eligible for money for job creation and economic development projects because our average salary was under 75% of the average European wage.

Speaking from Brussels, Cornwall Councillor Chris Ridgers says he expects the regional will get above the convergence level of 75% of the annual EU salary level, but is hopeful there will be European money for the islands and Cornwall for the future.

The European Commission will decide next year whether we’ll be able to access Transition funding for a further 6 years and Chris says, if we get this, it’s likely to be at around two-thirds of the current Convergence funding.

He says there could be gaps between the end of Convergence and the start of the Transition funding and the challenge will be holding on to staff and keeping projects going.

Chris says he’s worried that the current system has created a ‘grant’ culture, funding short-term projects. He says we should be looking at longer-term investment in business in the future and says if the EU decides not to offer Transitional status cash, it won’t be too great a blow to the islands and Cornwall. He says other sources of investment will be found.