In or out? In. Why? As COO of MSIF I have seen first-hand the huge benefits of being part of the European Union and will definitely be voting ‘Remain’.
MSIF was set up in 1994 to manage funding through the European Objective One Programme. Objective One provided funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to develop regions whose GDP was significantly behind other parts of Europe which, at the time, included Merseyside.
In the 90s, Merseyside had high levels of unemployment and it was extremely difficult for entrepreneurs and businesses to get funding to start or expand.
The Objective One Programme provided MSIF with £70m in funding which we then matched with money from the private sector.
Since 1994, MSIF has invested £161m backed more than 1,950 businesses, created/preserved 14,676 jobs and attracted £296,872,000 in private sector investment.
What would a Brexit mean for MSIF?
The Objective One money has been fundamental to growing the local economy. It helped change Merseyside from Manchester’s very poor relation to a city with lots of opportunities for businesses, becoming a hub for sectors such as creative and digital and life sciences.
There is good infrastructure and plenty of business support organisations which have attracted new businesses from outside of the region and fresh investment to the area.
Many of the businesses we have supported also benefit from the free trade agreement between us and other countries in the EU and would be severely damaged if this was withdrawn.