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10th Sep 2018

What have the EU ever done for us? Enter your postcode and find out

Two and a bit years too late

Oli Dugmore

EU funding map

Two and a bit years too late

Much was made of how much money the UK sends to the EU during the Brexit campaign, less was made of how it was spent.

Well now you can quite easily find out.

Best for Britain, a Remain-backing pressure group, have built, an open source tool that overlays projects with financial support from the EU onto Google maps. In its first day since launch the site was viewed 100,000 times.

EBBW VALE, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 07: A car passes a EU funding sign on the newly opened A465 near Ebbw Vale on March 7, 2016 in Blaenau Gwent, Wales. The West Wales and the Valleys region, which covers 15 local authority areas, has been identified as the poorest region in the whole of north Western Europe, with large swathes of Wales poorer than parts of Bulgaria, Romania and Poland and four-and-a-half times less prosperous than central London, highlighting the fact that the UK now has Europe's highest inequality of wealth within the European Union. To address this, from 2014 to 2020, Wales will benefit from around £1.8bn EU European Structural Funds investment which comprises funding from two separate European Structural Funds: the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF). The ERDF funds are used for a range of things including urban development, research and innovation, competitiveness, use of renewable energy and energy efficiency, connectivity and urban development. The ESF funds are to be directed to tackling poverty through more sustainable employment, increasing skills and tackling youth unemployment in the region. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Type in your postcode and see what the Romans ever did for us.

Click on a pin to see the name of a project and how much money it received and when. There’s also a description written in the finest Euro-babble, representing one of the EU and Remain campaign’s biggest fall downs – explaining what it does in simple terms.

For instance: “In 2017, the EU provided THE BIKE PROJECT £43,613 as part of the Fostering inclusive, innovative and reflective European societies ( programme.

“This grant was from the EU budget centrally administered by the Commission.”

The Bike Project is a scheme that upcycles second-hand bikes and donates them to refugees, which might be a better way of explaining things.

Best for Britain chief Eloise Todd told JOE: “The EU invests around £5 billion a year in the UK and with this app every community can see how they benefit from this money.  This support means more jobs and greater prosperity in places up and down the UK.

“We hope that people will use the app and contact their MP – all this support is at risk due to Brexit.”

App designer Hope Thomas added: “The number and range of things the EU has funded around Europe really surprised us when we started to look at it, so we wanted to share it with other people.

“The reaction to the site has shown us how many people are affected by the work the EU has been doing.”