Doncaster Racecourse, venue for Brexit Party conference, received £1 million of EU funding

A Doncaster conference venue which is hosting Nigel Farage and his Brexit Party next month received £1 million of EU funding.

By Darren Burke
Thursday, 08 August, 2019, 15:54
Nigel Farage is coming to Doncaster.

Earlier this week, it was announced that the anti-EU party would be hosting Mr Farage at a party conference at the venue on September 4.

But it might come as a bit of an embarrassment to supporters – because £1 million of EU cash was used to help rebuild Town Moor.

Details of the funding first emerged in 2015 when Mr Farage’s former party, UKIP held a conference in Doncaster.

A piece in political magazine The Spectator, published at the time, said: “Perhaps one of the brains at UKIP ought to have done a bit more research regarding their conference venue before going ahead with the booking.

“For all their preaching about the need to leave the EU for the good of the country, it turns out that Doncaster Racecourse hasn’t done too badly out of Britain’s membership; the racecourse is in part paid for by EU money.

A 2008 report by the Government Office for Yorkshire and The Humber revealed that the racecourse received £1 million of EU funding.

The money was part of European funding which ‘invested significant amounts of money in South Yorkshire to develop business prospects, improve communities and increase opportunities for people’.

The piece added: “In fact between 2000 and 2008, over £820 million went from the European Union’s Structural Funds budgets to supporting South Yorkshire’s economic transformation. As for the racecourse specifically, this money went towards ‘supporting the racecourse’s conference and exhibition facilities’. Precisely the area UKIP are currently making the most of.”

Four years on, Mr Farage is set to return as the leader of his new party.

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He will be joined by MEPs from the Brexit Party as well as prospective parliamentary candidates for the Doncaster area at the event.

The event is part of the party’s Make Britain Stronger nationwide tour and a spokesman said: “These series of events are a chance to meet your local MEPs and Prospective Parliamentary Candidates on a one-to -one basis to discuss local policy ideas, prior to a speech with Nigel Farage and keynote speakers from the region.”

Tickets for the event are £5.

The Brexit Party was the clear winner in May’s European elections, winning 29 seats.

In March, Mr Farage’s Leave Means Leave march visited Doncaster en route from the north east to London, but there was criticism that he was not present for a protest in the Market Place.

Five years ago, when he was in charge of UKIP, Mr Farage held the party’s conference in Doncaster in a direct challenge to then Labour leader and Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband.

In the 2016 referendum, Doncaster voted to leave by 69% to 31% – one of the highest leave votes in Britain.

A recent poll, hosted by the Free Press, suggested the Brexit Party would triumph in Doncaster in a General Election and that Mr Farage would make the best Prime Minister.