Earlier this year the city council facilitated the formation of a Local Action Group to take forward an ambitious plan to provide lots of training, further education, careers advice and job preparation for the people of the inner urban area of Peterborough.
The neighbourhoods to benefit are known as the “CAN-do Area”, comprising Millfield, the Gladstone District and parts of Park Ward.
The substantial cost of the scheme over five years amounted to £3 million to be met largely by the European Social Fund (ESF).
The council was very confident that the bid to the ESF would succeed.
The project was scheduled to start in 2017 involving a number of local organisations and educational bodies. Local Action Group members were looking forward eagerly to the launch. They were soon to be sorely disappointed.
Hopes were dashed when the Action Group learned recently that the council had decided not to back the bid.
Apparently there were fears that, notwithstanding earlier assurances, the ESF would not approve the bid due to the UK’s imminent exit from the EU.
And there was no guarantee that the UK Government would step forward to make up such lost funding.
During the Referendum campaign The Leave campaigners failed to tell the public that leaving the European Union would result in losses to deprived communities such as Peterborough’s Can-Do Area. Brexit may mean Brexit. Brexit also means the cancellation of much needed provision for low-skilled, low paid people who desperately need a hand-up. And Peterborough misses out on a scheme to improve skill levels that are so much needed to grow our businesses.