THE North-East will lose millions of pounds under funding plans once Britain leaves the EU, whilst London and the South-East will gain billions, a new report has claimed.

A report from Locality, a national membership network for community organisations, found the North-East would lose almost £480m under the Shared Prosperity Fund, the Government's EU funding replacement scheme, compared to London and the South East which will both gain more than £1bn each.

The Northern Echo:

Seven UK regions are at risk of losing out on public funding, with Wales losing more than £2bn, according to the report.

Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson said it was proof the pre-Brexit plan was "spinning out of control", whilst Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said there can't be "another Whitehall power grab".

The publication of the report comes after The Northern Echo joined forces with rival publishers to challenge political parties to commit to a package of policies to improve the North’s economy.

The report says: "It is vital that the Government's replacement of EU funds (the Shared Prosperity Fund) is made available to the people and places which need it most, but our analysis of existing UK Government economic development funding shows that it tends to flow to more prosperous places such as London and the South East – that causes alarm bells to ring."

"We cannot let Brexit mean poorer regions getting even poorer. We know UK government economic development funding tends to benefit the prosperous South rather than the left behind towns in the North – EU funding has been stopping these places falling even further behind.

The Northern Echo:

Mr Wilson said: "The Government still can't say specifically how the funding will be replaced. They said they would provide details and we are still waiting.

"We are talking about millions of pounds and money the region needs. If the Government was serious about powering up the North they would readdress the balance.

"During the referendum, people said we would take back control. We appear to be spinning out of control."

Mr Houchen said: "Brexit is a fantastic opportunity to redress the balance and empower regions like ours, those areas that overwhelmingly voted to leave the EU. Any Shared Prosperity Fund must be administered fairly and locally, so we can control our own investment most effectively for residents and businesses.

“I have made it clear that we can’t have another Whitehall power grab, with EU funding being given to remote politicians and civil servants in London. I’m happy Power Up The North is highlighting these issues too, and shouting just as loudly to make sure we succeed.”

The Northern Echo:

Redcar MP Anna Turley added: "It would be devastating for our area if, after Brexit, the government give London and the South a greater share of that cash. The North has been left behind for too long and this would only push us further behind.

"The government need to back up their words with action, support the Power Up The North campaign."