From education to employment


£1.3B of awards (exc. frameworks) have been issued since Brexit with full or partial EU funding

  • The Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is particularly dependent on the EU, with 76% of the ESFA’s total award value since 2015 at least partly backed by EU programmes.[1]
  • £433M worth of EU-backed awards are due to expire before Britain departs from the EU in March 2019. It is not clear what will happen to these projects when the current awards expire
  • Since January 2015, £1.6B of awards (excluding frameworks) have been issued with funding from EU programmes. £1.3B of this was awarded after the Brexit referendum, mostly in Q4 2016.

A new analysis of EU-funded public sector awards by Tussell – a data provider of government procurement information – has revealed the extent of EU funding in UK public sector contracts since the Brexit referendum in July 2016.

Since January 2015 at least £1.6B of awards (excluding frameworks)[2] have been issued with funding from EU programmes. £1.3B of this was awarded after the Brexit referendum, mostly in Q4 2016.

Tussell found that £433M of awards with funding from EU programmes are due to expire before Britain departs the EU, the vast majority of this in the next four months. While the UK government has guaranteed funding for projects continuing after Brexit, it is not clear what will happen with contracts expiring before Brexit.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has issued £425M worth of awards with EU funding since January 2015. This is considerably more than any other buyer, and accounts for 76% of ESFA’s total award value over the period, reflecting the importance of EU investment in employment and skills in the UK. Furthermore, employment and education firms dominate the list of top suppliers on awards with EU funding.

EU funding is dispersed across a large number of small awards, with 1,068 awards funded by EU programmes issued since January 2015. The average EU-backed award was worth £1.5M.

Since January 2015, the largest award issued with EU funding was a £298M award for the Aberdeen Harbour Expansion Project. Two of the top EU funded awards also benefited the Welsh Government, with £51M funding for the Welsh Government’s ‘Entreprenership and Support Services’ and £24M for its Wales Business Fund, which is notable given the region’s strong vote in favour of Brexit. Another large regional beneficiary of note was Cornwall Council – another Brexit-backing region which received £35M in EU programme funding.

Gus Tugendhat, Founder of Tussell said:

“Though it’s worth remembering that the UK is a net contributor to the EU budget, this analysis shows the extent of funding from EU programmes that is currently benefitting the UK.

“Unless that funding is replaced by contributions from our own government, it indicates another potential shortfall in public sector spending, particularly in the education and employment sectors.

“This data helps to widen the Brexit debate by shedding light on a previously overlooked area – public procurement – where EU funding is directly benefiting the UK.”


Data Breakdown: Please note the data used in this announcement is accurate at the time of publication, and based on all available government data. However Q4 2017 data is indicative and subject to adjustment until March 2018, due to a time-lag in reporting.

[1] The key programmes are the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF), European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF), European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and European Social Fund (ESF).

[2] A framework is an agreement between a contracting authority and supplier(s) establishing the terms of future procurement “call-offs”. The value listed for frameworks is an estimated maximum that could be issued over the lifetime of the agreement and is therefore not guaranteed.

About Tussell: Tussell uses intelligent data to drive growth, enabling businesses everywhere to reap the benefits of public procurement. By turning open data into useful data, Tussell increases the visibility of government contracts and equips businesses the reliable information they need to make the right decisions.

Whether it’s a large or small government supplier, an advisor, investor or business service provider, Tussell’s intelligence allows organisations to stay ahead of the competition and proactively discover new opportunities. 

Founded in London in 2015, Tussell is an entrepreneur-led tech firm with a mission to unlock the potential of government procurement.

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