The UK’s poorest regions have been falling behind the rest of Europe over the past decade, according to EU data analysed by the High Pay Centre think tank.
Voters will now be looking to see if the new government will keep its promise and direct billions of pounds of investment into the Midlands and North of England.
The research found that the number of UK regions with Gross Domestic Product per capita below 75 per cent of the EU average increased from three in 2008 to seven in 2017, the most recent figures.
The analysis focused on how the poorest UK regions have compared to the EU average over time, and how they compared to the most prosperous EU countries in particular.
The seven regions – Southern Scotland, West Wales and the Valleys, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Lincolnshire, Tees Valley and Durham, South Yorkshire and Outer London, East and North East – are all poorer than anywhere else in North West Europe. And the relative performance of the poorest regions has also worsened over time. The number of regions below 90 per cent of the EU average has also risen from 18 to 23 since 2008.
The findings are considered significant, because the EU uses the 75 per cent and 90 per cent thresholds for allocating funding to poorer regions, meaning the UK would have been eligible for increased funding had it remained in the EU.
So living in one of the poorest regions in the country, let’s hope central government can deliver a fairer funding system for our local communities in Lincolnshire.