ERDF: supporting local businesses
As the 2014-20 ERDF Programme gains momentum, local businesses are being provided with access to a range of support services helping them to set up, grow, innovate and create new jobs.
In the Midlands £2.5 million has been awarded to Growing Enterprise which will support entrepreneurs, growing small businesses and help start-ups.
In the North West, £5 million has been awarded to Sensor City in the Liverpool area which will help to create an Innovation Centre for sensor technologies. £3.7 million has been awarded to BOOST Business Lancashire which will help over 1,000 businesses with innovation and investment and in turn create 1,000 new jobs for local people.
In the North East £3.8 million will help provide advice and grants to over 1,400 local businesses through the North East Business Support Fund 3. This will also help create over 700 new jobs.
In the South West several projects have secured funding – this includes £2.64 million going to the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Hub which will be a primary access point for SMEs to receive business support.
Arts Council England have secured £8.37 million of support (£7.62 million ERDF, £0.75 million ESF) for the Creative Local Growth Fund, a project which aims to support arts and cultural organisations in contributing to local economic growth.
Further investments have been or are in the process of being approved, with around £1.2 billion applied for from nearly 600 partners, businesses and other local enterprises.
ESF Funding Agreements are now being issued to projects from the first round of calls, a few of these are listed below:-
The Tees Valley Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) project ‘Young Ambition Tees Valley’ with £2.48 million YEI and ESF funding. This project is designed to meet a local development need for those aged 15 to 24 (or 29 in line with the Operational Programme), living in the Tees Valley area and categorised as Not in Employment Education or Training (NEET). 1,725 participants will benefit from the project and 60% of these will be from the ‘Hard to Reach’ category. It will provide access to personalised learning pathways and route-ways to employment, access other learning/training provision and progression into mainstream education and/or employment.
Cornwall & Isles of Scilly project ‘West Cornwall Local Action Group (WCLAG) – Community Led Local Development Preparatory Support ESF’ with £16,000 ESF funding. This project is designed to secure preparatory funding to enable the WCLAG to develop a Community Led Local Development (CLLD) Local Development Strategy (LDS) for ESF for the most deprived communities in the area. Similar agreements are being signed in other CLLD areas.
Leeds City Region project ‘Step up Into Construction’ with £0.5 million ESF funding. 560 participants will be engaged through activities in employability, vocational and professional construction interventions, work experience / visits to construction and associated sites. 205 will progress into further education or training and 180 into employment to help meet the expanding skills shortages in the construction industry.
There are a number of Technical Assistance (TA) projects with approved funding agreements including:-
Partnership Working Review
The ESIF Managing Authorities committed to undertake a review of partnership working over the first year of the ESIF 2014-2020 Growth Programme to consider how local partnership arrangements across England are working. The review, currently underway, is seeking partner views about the level of partner input, identifying best practice and/or seeking suggestions that may help improve partnership working. The findings will be presented to the Growth Programme Board in June.
Meetings will take place throughout March involving as many ESIF sub committees as possible in this timeframe. An online survey (also in March) will help partners who have not been able to attend a discussion in person contribute their views
Cross-LEP area events will be taking place in Bristol on 14 March and in London on 30 March. A date and venue is to be confirmed for an event to be held in the Midlands.
For further information, or to book a place on a cross-LEP area event, please contact your local Growth Delivery Team or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will direct your query to the appropriate contact.
ESIF Web Pages on GOV.UK
We just wanted to include a short note on the ESIF web pages housed on the GOV.UK website. We have a home page which our major content all links from – you can access this page via the url below
This page can also be found from the GOV.UK homepage, by typing ‘European Programmes’ into the search facility.
Once on our home page you can access, among other things, the ESIF Programme Guidance page various useful resources such as programme logos and information on how to apply for the funding.
The Funding Finder is also accessible via this homepage – this tool, where project calls for ERDF, ESF and EAFRD are published, is fully searchable with filter options including location, activity area, funding source and whether the call is open or closed. The filter can be found to the left hand side of the screen. There is also the opportunity to type in a key word which can narrow searches still further and help site users find the calls they are looking for with minimum fuss.
Following our recent partner survey on programme communications we are currently looking at ways we could improve these pages, in particular how they link together and how content such as the latest guidance is flagged and organised.
ESF/ERDF Public Consultations
The European Commission has launched public consultations in the context of ex-post evaluation of ESF and ERDF during the 2007-2013 programming period. The consultations seek feedback from the direct stakeholders of ESF and ERDF during the 2007-2013 programming period in the 28 EU member states as well as from the wider public. They are open until 27 April 2016 – click links below to access:
ESF public consultation
ERDF public consultation
Latest Programme News
ESF Calls Update
Funding Agreements are now being issued from the first round of calls. Community Led Local Development applications have been appraised and the Funding Agreements are being prepared for successful projects.
Further calls for ESF will be opening this month.
EAFRD Calls Update
Defra Ministers have recently confirmed their intention to launch up to £64 million of calls under the EAFRD Growth Programme in 2016/17. Defra has written to LEP contacts to inform them of this intention and to confirm that the Rural Payments Agency will be contacting ESIF sub-committees to discuss local plans and ambitions over the coming weeks.
ERDF Calls Update
174 applications have been received so far for the November/December round of calls, totalling £297.5 million ERDF – five of these calls are still live on the funding finder.
The next round of ERDF project calls are set to be published from mid-April.
Click here to access the funding finder
The following documents have been recently published or updated on GOV.UK:
All documents can be found on the guidance pages of the website.
In March some Community Led Local Development (CLLD) guidance is being published on GOV.UK for those organisations invited to develop a CLLD Local Development Strategy. This includes a paper on the mandatory use of Lump Sum Simplified costs methodology for ESF during this six month development phase.
National sub-committees to the Growth Programme Board have started to meet – The Skills, Employment and Social Inclusion, the Equality and Diversity, and the Smart Specialisation sub-committees all met in February with other initial meetings set for this month. For details and the full list of these national sub-committees visit the dedicated web-page,
Results and suggestions from the recently closed communications and continuous improvement surveys are currently being collated and reviewed and will be used to help develop and guide on-going work in these areas. An example is with the website (see item on the website earlier in this bulletin).
Thanks to all who have completed these surveys – your support and comments are very useful and much appreciated.
Skills Show Film
The latest ESF film about our involvement at The Skills Show in November last year is available to view on the ESIF YouTube channel
Co-financing Tender Launch
DWP Co-financing Organisation launched its Commercial Tender competition for ESF 2014-2020 provision. Any organisation will be able to bid, but they need to be able to meet the delivery requirements specified. Procurement activity will be scheduled over a period of months in Cohorts. Further information can be found here
On the Horizon
National sub Committees continue to meet
LEP Network Annual Conference 22 March
Growth Programme Board on 24 March
Contacts and useful resources
Visit the Programme website pages at www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding
Follow the developments on the Programme on Twitter @esif1420england
Take a look at our YouTube channel
To subscribe to the ERDF Practitioners Network or subscribe and provide feedback on the Bulletin email email@example.com
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