European Structural & Investment Fund
The European Union Structural and Investment Fund (EU SIF) is worth around €70m over the programme period 2014 – 2020. There are three distinct EU SIF funding streams:
- European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) – worth €34m
In summary the ERDF is about encouraging sustainable business growth through innovation, support to SMEs and a focus on low carbon activity.
- European Social Fund (ESF) – worth €34m
In summary the ESF is about improving skills within the workforce, making them relevant to the needs of the economy, and working with those furthest from the labour market.
- European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) – worth about €1.4m
EAFRD aims to both grow the economy in rural areas, through diversification and productivity, and to improve skills within the workforce.
EU SIF is a national programme. Each of the three funding streams is managed by a central government department – these are the Managing Authorities. The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) manage ERDF, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) manage ESF and the Department for Food and Rural Affairs manage EAFRD.
Nationally, the strategy for each of the funds has been set out in an Operational Programme. These can be viewed on GOV.UK.
All projects that are funded through EU SIF will need to fit with these national Operating Programmes. LEP Areas have also produced local strategies for the implementation of EU SIF; the strategy for the West of England was agreed by the LEP Board in 2014.
The LEP has also drawn together a local EU SIF Committee in order to advise the Managing Authorities on the types of interventions that are needed in the area and the local strategic fit of all applications received to the funds.
The LEP has run briefing sessions on EU SIF funding and the presentations from those events can be found here.
There are links to fund specific pages above where more important information is given including timescales for when applications can be made and the types of interventions that the West of England is hoping to bring forward here.
For more information please email the EU SIF Technical Assistance team.