Brighton & Hove will no longer be eligible for grants under the EU’s Selected Area Status scheme, which has given the city just under £2m in funding over the past two years.
The government has removed our status because the city’s economy is perceived to be performing too well for such grant assistance. Under the scheme companies may get financial assistance to either locate into the area or relocate within it.
A £1.5m grant to Legal & General was in part responsible for their decision to relocate to the giant City Park office complex in Hove rather than relocate to another part of the country thus protecting 1,600 jobs.
The removal of such grant assistance reduces the ability of Brighton & Hove to compete with other UK and EU destinations.
ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP COMMENT
Like many places on the south coast Brighton & Hove faces real challenges to its economy despite the appearance of “doing well”. We still have higher than average unemployment, lower than average wages and lower than average productivity and very real pockets of deprivation.
The local authority will be lobbying to reverse this decision but the needs of the new accession states in the EU are pressing and it is likely that increased grant funding will flow to them at our expense and it is a decision that we will just have to live with.
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Brighton & Hove City Council
Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership