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Don’t close the door on European funding, say organisations across Britain

"Science is the main hope for solving many of our ecological, environmental, technological and health problems. It must not be forgotten in the debate about our future relationship with the EU"

The James Hutton Institute has endorsed a statement sent to ministers and MPs calling on the UK to remain part of the EU’s cross-border funding programmes after Brexit. The campaign is supported by a wide range of public and private sector bodies, including councils, universities, enterprise agencies and charities. Transnational organisations and neighbouring regional and local authorities in France and Norway have also supported the statement.

Over the past 25 years, these programmes known as European Territorial Cooperation or Interreg for short, have invested millions of pounds into local and regional economies across Britain in order to boost investment, create jobs, protect the environment and to improve the skills of our young people. Since 2000, UK organisations have led a total of 697 projects and participated in another 1453 ETC projects as project partners.

Signatories are calling upon the government to negotiate the UK’s continued participation in these programmes so that UK organisations can continue to cooperate with our European neighbours for the benefit of our local communities. Without UK participation in Interreg, many local initiatives that improve the lives of local residents would simply not be able to happen.

Cllr Kevin Bentley, Chairman of the East of England European Partnership, said: “Brexit means we are leaving the institutions of the EU, but we are not leaving Europe! We must find ways to continue working with our European friends and neighbours and Interreg helps us do that.

“Interreg has brought a huge amount of value to councils and charities across the UK. Our continued participation is essential in helping councils to deliver their local growth agendas”.

Professor Colin Campbell, Chief Executive of the James Hutton Institute, added: “We gain many benefits from having unrestricted access to European funding streams and the UK, Scotland and the James Hutton Institute do exceptionally well from these.

“Our collaborative approach has meant significant advances in science and how we deploy it, with and for society. Science is the main hope for solving many of our ecological, environmental, technological and health problems. It must not be forgotten in the debate about our future relationship with the EU.”

Read below the statement on 10 reasons why the UK should participate in European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) that has been endorsed by the James Hutton Institute:

  1. International collaboration is vital to our continued success. ETC projects create new partnerships, open new markets, and facilitate access to them, while at the same time opening our own economy to inward investment.
  2. ETC supports the UK in achieving its goals and ambitions. From the UK Industrial Strategy and the Export Strategy through to the 25-Year Environment Plan, the Culture is Digital Strategy and the Integrated Communities Green Paper, many existing ETC projects support UK government ambitions and would continue to do so in the future.
  3. ETC programmes are value for money. ETC projects require a focus on solving a particular challenge and involving a wide range of relevant partners from a broad geographical area. This means that these projects allow UK organisations to test, apply, and deliver results beyond what they could achieve on their own or nationally with the same resources.
  4. ETC programmes leverage resources. For modest government investment, ETC acts as an incentive for attracting additional public and private resources. 
  5. International collaboration leads to innovative solutions. ETC projects can enhance the UK’s excellence in key fields including clean growth, mobility, and the challenge of an ageing society.
  6. ETC supports SMEs on the path to export. SMEs establishing new business relationships via ETC is a first step towards discovering export markets.
  7. ETC partnerships lead to policy change and have a long-term impact. Sharing knowledge, developing solutions and building partnerships with a critical mass can support future delivery of public services, first developed and tested through an ETC project.
  8. Participation in ETC is complementary to, rather than in competition with, investment in other EU programmes. ETC supports public bodies, higher education institutions, small and medium enterprises and community initiatives. ETC is the seed funding to support smaller-scale projects with international reach and relevance that might otherwise not find their place. Horizon Europe is aimed at research and innovation excellence, while Erasmus+ is about mobility of individuals to share knowledge and experience. 
  9. Future ETC programmes will strengthen innovation in crucial sectors for local and national economic growth. Interregional Innovation Investments, as proposed for the future of ETC, could support public authorities and LEPs in the delivery of Local Industrial Strategies through collaboration across the EU on shared strengths and challenges.
  10. ETC is an existing and valued mechanism which delivers results. The UK government and the EU have consistently recognised the need for continued cooperation. Proposals for the future of ETC facilitate this potential.

More information from: 

Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).


Printed from /news/don%E2%80%99t-close-door-european-funding-say-organisations-across-britain on 19/09/19 07:57:01 PM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.