UKIP conference building received £3million European funding

The Riveria International Centre, where the UKIP conference is currently being held, was partly funded by a European Grant of £3m.

The Riveria International Centre in Torquay, where the UKIP conference is currently being held, was partly funded by a European grant of £3 million.

Earlier today, Nigel Farage welcomed UKIP members to their spring conference, telling delegates that UKIP had claimed back the idea that it is not disreputable to talk about the EU.

However it has been revealed that the town in which the party’s conference is being held has benefited to the tune of £7.4 million from European Regional Development Funds (EDRF) since 2007.

The Riveria International Centre, where the UKIP leader took to the stage earlier today, was partly funded by a European Grant of £3m, and a £6.5 million investment to improve Torquay’s harbour front and connect the two sides of the harbour included £2.4 million from ERDF.

A further £1.7 million of ERDF money has been invested in a coastal zoo set on Torquay’s waterfront, which has created over 40 jobs, receives 130,000 visitors a year and injects over £3 million a year into the local economy. £3.4 million from ERDF has also co-funded infrastructure works to enable the development of employment land to create high quality business units. The development site is expected to create around 1,300 new jobs.

Commenting on the revelations, Lib Dem South West MEP Sir Graham Watson said UKIP had “managed to embarrass themselves again before anyone had even uttered a word”.

“UKIP can’t be trusted to organise their own conference, let alone run the country,” he said.

“Being in the EU has brought huge benefits to this town. Over £7.4mn of European funding has been invested in recent years to regenerate the Torquay harbour front, build a new coastal zoo and fund local businesses, helping to create over 1300 new jobs,” he added.

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