There’s no plan to replace EU aid in Wales beyond 2020, creating questions over charity funding. Will Riverside residents suffer a loss in services?
Riverside residents may have fewer charity services after Brexit, as EU money that funds charity projects in Riverside won’t be replaced by the UK government.
The people of Riverside benefit from charity services partially funded by the EU, and The Welsh European Funding Office has confirmed to InterCardiff that there is no UK government plan for replacing EU money that funds Welsh charity projects after Brexit.
EU funds support Riverside charities such as Inroads Well-being institute, a charity providing support for people with substance abuse and mental health problems, and Social Farms and Gardens, a charity that promotes community growing. A spokesperson for The Welsh European Funding Office said there won’t be any new European structural and investment funded programmes for Wales from 2021 onwards.
Mags Lyons, a team leader at Inroads said, “We’ve got funding coming in January, we hope. But it’s going to come from the European Social Fund. Now with Brexit, it might stop… I really think the people who voted for Brexit in Wales, they must have been blind. When you’re going around all these projects and you see that little, the yellow stars on blue, that’s European Social Fund money… They just haven’t thought.”
The draft withdrawal agreement between the UK and the EU guarantees that all EU funded projects will be financed until the end of the current EU budget period in 2020, but it’s uncertain how these projects will be financed after 2020.
In the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, the UK government has promised replacement funding until the end of the budget period, but it’s unclear if they will be funded beyond that. Regardless of Brexit’s outcome, new projects will not be able to apply for funding after 2020.
As well as the European Social Fund that finances social projects, EU funds include The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, which funds the entire rural development programme for Wales.
Lisa Williams, a development worker at Social Farms and Gardens emphasised that the charity was always looking for new funds, but said, “Our funding comes from the rural development programme, from Europe obviously… The European money runs out in May and we’re hoping to get another 18 months out of the government then, and go from there really, but we literally go from year to year, and then if all the funding stops, we close down.”
According to The Welsh European Funding Office, Wales receives £370 million a year in European structural and investment funds, and Welsh Ministers are continuing to partition the UK government to confirm replacement funding.