Herefordshire will get millions less funding to address social and economic problems than it did before Brexit, according to the county council.

The Government has identified Herefordshire as a priority area for its new UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), intended to replace the EU’s so-called structural funds.

The council’s head of economic development Roger Allonby told county business figures yesterday: “This money is welcome, but we have previously had £25 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF).”

The Government has allocated Herefordshire £7.45m from the new fund to be spent in the current and next two financial years, subject to approval of an investment plan for the county.

This figure includes £900,000 already allocated to improve adult numeracy.

The council is now preparing a bid for the remaining £6.5 million, to be with the Government by the start of next month, which has to meet the fund’s priorities of “communities and place”, “supporting local business” and “people and skills”.


While the details of the bid have yet to be published, it is expected that if successful, the money will be spent locally through inviting applications for grant funding, or in the form of tenders for individual pieces of work, Mr Allonby explained.

Outlining the likely themes, he pointed out: “Herefordshire’s visitor numbers were decreasing even before the pandemic. We are a ‘cold spot’ for social mobility, and we have the lowest per-head ‘gross value added’ of any county in England.”

Although the UK formally left the EU in January 2020, money from ERDF, ESF and EAFRD (European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development) continues to be spent in the county, but this must finish by the end of next year, according to the council website.