COUNCIL chiefs have said they are confident of receiving European Union cash for employment projects until 2022 – despite the uncertainty over Brexit.

For a number of years, local authorities have benefited from EU cash to match fund their own spending on various initiatives.

However, with the UK’s formal exit from the EU looming, questions have been raised over whether Scottish councils can still access European grants for certain projects.

In response, both Renfrewshire Council and East Renfrewshire Council said they are hopeful that funding will remain available.

A spokeswoman for Renfrewshire Council said: “The employability services delivered as part of the council’s Invest in Renfrewshire programme support around 1,500 people each year.

“Since 2012, the council has provided wage subsidy and support to trainee and internship positions, creating around 1,800 new and additional posts in the area, taking Renfrewshire’s ranking from 27th in Scotland to third for youth employment.

“The current European funding to support this area is available until 2022.

“Earlier this year, Renfrewshire Council also committed £4.5million over the next five years to the Invest in Renfrewshire programme to help people most in need into work and improve opportunities for future generations.”

A spokesperson for East Renfrewshire Council added: “It is expected that all EU funding received by the council to support a wide range of employability and business development programmes will be in place until December 2022.

“Discussions are ongoing about the potential to develop a UK Prosperity Fund which would continue to support these initiatives following Brexit.”

Scottish councils currently receive support from the European Social Fund (ESF) and the European Regional Development Fund.

The draft Withdrawal Agreement, published in March, would mean the UK would still be able to access the ESF after Brexit.

However, in the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario, UK organisations may be unable to access the ESF for projects after exit day.

In this situation, the UK Government has said it will guarantee certain EU projects agreed before Brexit, including ESF projects.