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UK ministers pledged to match EU funds after Brexit. How’s that going?

Delays to new programmes have affected support for vulnerable people, ‘throwing the baby out with the bathwater’

• Bad boys of Brexit: where are they now?

In recent years, two flagship EU programmes were a lifeline for communities across the UK. The European regional development fund (ERDF) and the European social fund (ESF) have poured €10.8bn (£9.26bn) into roads, factories and social inclusion projects including further education colleges and into places such as Wales, north-east England, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly – paying for everything from carpentry workshops for blind people to an upgrade of Hayle harbour in Cornwall to facilitate an offshore windfarm.

The ERDF sank capital into everything from new roads to university facilities, business hubs, harbour upgrades and sports centres in economically deprived regions, while the ESF skills training, back to work schemes and other projects helped those “furthest” from jobs.

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