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EU has supported region’s growth and regeneration, says expert

Britain’s European Union membership has provided regeneration funding, support for universities’ innovation and trade benefits for businesses in the North West, according to an expert.

Professor Richard Evans, acting director and professor of urban and regional policy at Liverpool John Moores University’s European Institute for Urban Affairs, insists the region would miss the EU if Britain left.

Speaking to Move Commercial ahead of the forthcoming 23 June referendum, Professor Evans says: “Unfettered access to the single market has given the region’s companies significant trade advantages, resulting in major investment and job creation and lured a lot of overseas investment into the region.”

Suggesting there is “no guarantee” the North West would receive a share of the savings from not being part of the EU if the vote falls in favour of Brexit, he adds: “£2 billion Structural Funds have played a key part in the Liverpool City Region’s resurgence owing to its priority status (Objective 1) and such funds have also greatly improved the infrastructure of Manchester and other key urban centres.

“European funding has also supported North West universities’ research and innovation activities such as the ground-breaking National Graphene Institute.”

For more expert views on how the EU referendum could impact on the North West, read our latest Ask the Panel feature.