Last reviewed 27 August 2019

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has announced that it is to provide £9 million to help ports and local areas get ready for Brexit.

Kent will be given over £2.6 million out of the available funding to take account of the fact that it contains both the busiest Channel port (Dover) and the entrance to Eurotunnel as well as the ports of Ashford and Ebbsfleet.

A total of £5 million will be given to local councils which either have or are near to a major air, land or sea port including Hull, Portsmouth, Southampton, Liverpool, Manchester and the Boroughs of Dartford and Camden.

The remaining £4 million will be shared out to local resilience forums (LRFs), partnerships made up of representatives from local public services, across England, to support them in their preparations. These will be set up in areas including Kent, Humber, London, Merseyside and Thames Valley.

“The funding can be used by local areas to support the development of robust Brexit plans for their areas and for continued preparedness activities, including additional staffing costs,” the MHCLG explained.

It said that the allocations have been based on a number of factors including the expected impact on the local area, the amount of EU goods received by port areas into the country and the area’s wider importance to the UK’s trade network.

The MHCLG stressed that this funding is not for the infrastructure of ports as, if required, that comes from the Department for Transport (DfT). The £5 million for local councils with, or near to, a major air, land or sea port is for councils to buy in additional staff and specialist expertise where necessary.

However, the Labour leader of Plymouth City Council, Tudor Evans, being interviewed on Channel 4 news, said that his council could not be ready in time for 31 October as it had suffered such huge losses in funding and staff in recent years and was not on the list to receive the new support.

He tweeted that “the Government has delegated to councils a lot of blame but not enough cash”.