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EU Structural Funds: Least Developed Regions — [Siobhain McDonagh in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 2:30 pm on 26th June 2019.

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Photo of Paul Blomfield Paul Blomfield Shadow Minister (Exiting the European Union) 2:30 pm, 26th June 2019

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his intervention, but that is not part of the CPMR analysis, nor has the House of Commons Library suggested that it is a factor that should be taken into account.

In South Yorkshire, we saw real transformation. The advanced manufacturing park at Waverley—a partnership led by University of Sheffield with Boeing and Rolls-Royce—was held up by the Government as a flagship of growth through innovation. It was dependent on that funding and would not have got off the ground without it. That is just one example of the work in developing clusters, alongside advanced manufacturing and metals, investment in bioscience, creative and digital industries and environmental and energy technologies.

The funding was involved in the remodelling of the primary gateway to Sheffield in my constituency, by developing the station and the main pedestrian route into the heart of the city, and played a key role in making the city a more attractive place in which to invest. There was improved access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises, which supported start-ups, scale-ups and incubator units such as the Quadrant Business Centre. Community projects in my constituency, such as Matrec and Zest, were funded for programmes to build the skills needed in a changing work environment.

Across South Yorkshire, there was investment in new roads and transport infrastructure.