ESF Launch Activity
Following the adoption of the European Social Fund Operational Programme in the autumn last year we are pleased to announce that the official launch of the ESF programme has taken place.
Across England, €3.5 billion (approximately £2.53 billion) is being made available through ESF to support projects in Local Enterprise Partnership areas throughout the 2014-2020 programme period. Some of the first provision to start in the new programme is delivering services to offenders both in custody and the community.
Key ESF partners and stakeholders, representation from the European Commission and ESF projects heard the Right Honourable Priti Patel MP, Minister of State for Employment officially launch the new programme at the Clink Restaurant in the grounds of HMP Styal.
Priti Patel made the official announcement as part of a visit to the North West on Monday 25 January. The ESF launch celebration included a short input on the aims and progress so far of the ESF 2014-2020 programme from the Head of ESF Division, Angus Gray, and input from an ESF funded project based in HMP Styal, delivered through the National Offender Management Service.
Latest Programme News
DCLG will very shortly be issuing the first Grant Funding Agreements for the 2014-2020 England ERDF programme. More detail on this and on some of these projects will follow in the February bulletin.
ESF will also issue Funding Agreements soon. These will be for 21 YEI projects that equal approximately £156 million ESF / YEI (so the total value will be approximately £310 million), 3 national TA projects worth £1.5 million (total value about £3 million) and a number of local TA projects.
ESF will be opening a further 11 calls in February (8 in the Midlands area and 3 in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly).
Click here to access the funding finder
Skills Funding Agency (SFA) launches ESF 2014-2020 Tendering Round
The SFA has launched its first ESF 2014-2020 tendering round in London covering a number of strands under the ESF Youth Programme. The Invitations to Tender (ITTs) have been published by the SFA via the Bravo Solutions e tendering portal https://skillsfundingagency.bravosolution.co.uk on 6th January 2016.
An applicant must be registered on the Bravo Solutions e-tendering portal to be able to respond to the ITT. The deadline for applications is 5.00pm Friday 5th February 2016.
Good progress is being made to get the building blocks in place for the setting up of Intermediate Bodies for ERDF and ESF from April onwards. Following discussion with partners in Core City Regions and Cornwall, partners from Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and Greater Manchester and the ERDF and DWP Managing Authorities are meeting with the European Commission in Brussels to explain how arrangements will work. Intermediate Bodies that have been agreed under individual devolution deals and Sustainable Urban Development will decide on the local content of project calls and funding applications in relation to local priorities.
Sustainable Urban Development update
The Core City Region SUD strategies have been assessed by the ERDF MA and feedback was issued before Christmas. Partners will submit final draft strategies by 5th February for assessment and sign off by the MA. Strategies are expected to be agreed in February when the focus will shift to agreeing the IB arrangements - this process will be aligned with wider devolution discussions and establishment of Intermediate Bodies from April onwards.
Just a reminder that a full range of programme guidance documents, including eligibility rules and guidance, state aid law guidance and branding and publicity guidance, are located on the ESIF Programme Guidance page on GOV.UK.
Two short European Programme partner surveys were launched last week:
ERDF and ESF Communications Evaluation - we are looking for feedback on some of our core communications tools and activities undertaken in 2015 to help us develop and improve our communications over the coming year. It should only take a few minutes to complete – click here to access the ERDF and ESF Communications survey
ERDF Continuous Improvement Evaluation – DCLG is embarking on a programme of Continuous Improvement for ERDF to ensure that the services being provided are meeting stakeholder needs and are being delivered efficiently. As part of this work they plan to review 2014-2020 ERDF business processes and are gathering in some initial feedback on how you have found these so far – click here to access the short Continuous Improvement Stakeholder Survey
Guide to ERDF and ESF publication
In December we published a guide to the 2014-2020 England ERDF and ESF programmes. It has been written as a broad overview of the programmes, containing summaries on who can apply for funding, how to apply for funding and what can be funded through the programmes.
The document is located on the useful resources page of the GOV.UK ESIF website (alongside programme logos and a full glossary for ESIF 2014-2020).
ERDF 2007-13 programmes achievements
Although there is understandably a lot of focus on the 2014-2020 programmes, we were keen to just highlight some of the headline outputs from 2007-2013 ERDF in England as work on these programmes begins to be drawn to a close. Although a few projects remain active and not all final figures are in, as it stands, across the country, some 1,559 projects have created (or attracted to the region) 24,767 new businesses and 114,889 jobs have been created. Final programme figures will be shared when available. In the meantime click on the link below to access project case study books from the English ERDF programmes 2007-2013
ERDF Project Case Studies
Practitioner network - In last month’s bulletin we launched the ERDF practitioner network, inviting partners to sign up to join the practitioner database. If you are interested and would like to sign up (or would like further information) please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks to those of you who have signed up already.
Twitter - And also, if you are on Twitter, don’t forget to follow our @esif1420england account (and forward us your address so we can reciprocate)
On the Horizon
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 and provide feedback on the Bulletin email email@example.com
Your login details have been used by another user or machine. Login details can only be used once at any one time so you have therefore automatically been logged out. Please contact your sites administrator if you believe this other user or machine has unauthorised access.