Jeremy Miles is celebrating the success of more than a decade of EU funding in Wales, as well as looking ahead to potential future regional investment, as latest figures show almost 50,000 jobs have been created in Wales since the programme began.
Mr Miles, the Counsel General and Brexit Minister, will be speaking at the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) conference in Cardiff, which will be attended by leaders from Welsh business and public services, as well as representatives from the European Commission, and the OECD. The event is held each year to mark the progress and achievements of the EU Structural Funds programmes in Wales.
Since 2007, EU funded programmes in Wales have:
- Created over 48,700 new jobs
- Created 13,420 new businesses
- Supported over 26,800 businesses.
The Counsel General and Brexit Minister said:
Thanks to the European Commission’s continued commitment to excellent working relations with Wales, and some invaluable local knowledge, we’ve been able to make significant improvements to the lives of people all over the country.
In every part of Wales we have supported thousands of people to gain new skills and removed barriers to work, while creating highly-desirable new jobs and supporting businesses through difficult times – lifting the confidence of communities all over the country.
We’ve now invested nearly all of the £2 billion allocation, driving a total investment of over £3.5 billion, and although we are approaching the end of this funding cycle, Wales will continue to benefit substantially from EU funded programmes up until 2021.
While the country continues to go through a period of instability and uncertainty, it is reassuring to know that opportunities remain to reach out and improve the lives of people here.
Clearly, the work we are undertaking in Wales to prepare for a new relationship with the EU is dependent on our calls for replacement funding to be met, but we simply cannot wait if we want to develop successor arrangements in genuine partnership with our friends and partners here in Wales.
We will continue to work closely with them and directly with communities across Wales to put in place successor arrangements and build on the successes that are so evident for us all to see.