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UK opens up £500,000 funding for Gib, replacing EU programmes lost after Brexit

Johnny Bugeja

Projects in Gibraltar will be eligible for funding up to an overall maximum of £500,000 after the UK Government included the Rock in its Community Renewal Fund for 2021-22.

The objective of the scheme is to support Gibraltar’s transition away from EU structural funding and the £500,000 total for the year is, on average, more than Gibraltar projects tapped annually from EU funding, government officials said.

While inside the EU, Gibraltar was able to access funding through the European Social Fund, the European Regional Development Fund and smaller funds such as Interreg.

But the last of those EU programmes open to Gibraltar came to an end in 2020.

“This latest investment is intended to support Gibraltar’s transition away from EU Structural funds and will provide funding for projects which harness the skills of local people, unleash enterprise and innovation, empower communities and places, and support people into employment,” No.6 Convent Place said in a statement.

“The UK has made clear that it will take a different approach to delivering the UK Community Renewal Fund in Gibraltar compared to the approach in the UK, reflecting the different constitutional relationship between the Government of Gibraltar and the UK Government.”

The Government of Gibraltar will engage directly with the UK Government in order to move this forward, No.6 said.

So far the work has been channelled through the Director European Programmes, Charles Collinson, in what was formerly the EU Funding Unit.

“I was notified directly by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick MP that this funding would be made available for Gibraltar,” said Chief Minister Fabian Picardo.

“He told me that this is a small way of strengthening the special partnerships that exist between Gibraltar and the United Kingdom and I could not agree more.”

“Our departure from the EU has meant that the popular funding streams for employment and business have come to an end and this will go some way towards replacing it.”

“I have already written to Mr Jenrick to thank him for the inclusion of Gibraltar.”

“I am also very grateful to Charles Collinson and his team for the hard work that they have put into all this.”

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