EU Successor Funding Evidence Session
Speaking after providing evidence to the NI Assembly’s Infrastructure Committee on EU Successor Funding in Northern Ireland, NILGA Chief Executive Derek McCallan said:
“We welcomed the opportunity to brief members of the Assembly’s Infrastructure Committee this morning. We are in very different times to the relatively stable period when EU Structural Funds were designed and distributed but some principles and acute needs remain the same. Now, emerging from Covid & post EU mainstream investment, driving community and needs led enterprise and funding co-ordinated by Councils will ensure recovery happens better and faster. We continue to lag behind the other UK and European regions on several economic measures. NILGA has concerns about EU Successor Funding like the Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund, and getting locally led engagement now is urgent and will ensure locality based budgets – not institutional criteria – becomes the way forward.
“The funding – billions of pounds over the next decade - is too important for our region to get wrong. NILGA, in partnership with SOLACE, has previously set out indisputable recommendations for a new approach to post EU investment from the UK government here, including a commitment to set strategic priorities at a regional and local level, ensuring there is maximum devolution of management and resources to local government. New times need a new approach, let’s harness the medical hopes we have at the moment and be ever more enterprising right across government, commissioning social economy and small business partners to sustain NI and getting the 11 Community Plans of our Councils recognised and resourced as engines of growth.”