European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) 2014 – 2020
ESIF is the EU’s main funding programme supporting investment in innovation, businesses, skills and employment.
There are three types of funds:
- European Social Fund (ESF) focuses on improving the employment opportunities, promoting social inclusion and investing in skills by providing help people need to fulfil their potential.
- European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) supports research and innovation, small to medium sized enterprises and creation of a low carbon economy.
- European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) supports rural businesses to grow and expand, improve knowledge and skills and get started.
The following documents provide information about the funds:
ESF Operational Programme for England 2014 to 2020
ERDF Operational Programme for England 2014 to 2020
EAFRD Operational Programme for England 2014 to 2020
European Regional Development Fund
The fund provides 50% (in Tyne and Wear and Northumberland) revenue or capital funding to support investment in innovation, businesses, low carbon and climate change projects and create jobs.
The North East’s indicative allocation of ERDF is £205m, and covers four key areas:
- Research and Innovation (£41m - £45m)
- SME Competitiveness (£90m - £95m)
- Supporting a shift towards a Low Carbon economy (£49m - £60m)
- Climate Change adaptation, in particular flood risk management (£6m - £10m)
- Community led local development (£4.5m-£6.5m)
Within the main ERDF fund, a separate fund has been created for Sustainable Urban Development.
This fund focuses on addressing five key challenges for the region:
- Sustainable energy systems and networks (£8m)
- Improved travel choices (£6m)
- Healthier, independent lives (£4m)
- Ensuring bio-diverse and sustainable infrastructure investments (£2.6m)
Further information on this fund will be released in due course.
European Social Fund
The European Social Fund is one of the main European Funds which make up the European Structural and Investment Funds programme. ESF provides financial support for revenue projects which offer training to the unemployed and those employed in small and medium-sized enterprises.
Within Tyne and Wear and Northumberland, there are two priority axes, each of which is divided up into several Investment Priorities:
Priority Axis 1: Inclusive Labour Markets
- 1.1: Access to Employment
- 1.2 Sustainable Integration of Young People
- 1.3 Youth Employment Initiative (County Durham)
- 1.4 Active Inclusion
- 1.5 Community led local development
Priority Axis 2: Skills for Growth
- 2.1 Access to Lifelong Learning
- 2.2 Improving the labour market relevance of education and training systems
The North East Strategic Economic Plan
The 2014-2020 European Structural Investment Funds (ESIF) will inject more than £437m in to the North East. To ensure these funds are used to deliver both the European goals of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and support our Economic Plan, the North East LEP has worked with a wide range of partners to produce an updated European Structural and Investment Funds Strategy. Download the strategy.
How do I apply?
The following guidance explains who is eligible to apply for funding.
The Government issues calls for the fund on a regular basis – around three times a year. You can check them on their website.
Applications are a two-stage process, an initial outline application which assesses value for money, followed by a more detailed application. The whole process from applying to receiving the agreement takes roughly 9-12 months.
You don’t have to wait for a call to prepare your application – there’s a lot you can do in advance, including reading the Operational Programme and Guidance, and the NELEP area ESIF strategy 2014-2020.
Gateshead Council, as part of the North East Technical Assistance Project (part funded through the 2014 to 2020 ESIF Programme), are able to provide support to help you apply for ERDF and ESF funding. Please contact:
Direct Line: 0191 4332658
Economic and Housing Growth
Funding is available in rural areas across Gateshead to help farmers, producers and business with projects to create jobs and grow their businesses across the following six priorities:
- Improving farm productivity
- Support for micro and small businesses, including farm diversification
- Support for rural tourism
- Provision of rural services
- Support for cultural and heritage activity
- Increasing forestry productivity
For more information, including the LEADER Handbook, please visit www.durham.gov.uk/npdleader or contact PJ Harding on email@example.com or call 03000 266 895
Gateshead Goes Local - Community Led Local Development Programme
In October 2016 permission was given to prepare a detailed proposal for partners to develop a Local Action Group to manage a delegated grants programme to match fund local initiatives that would help deliver the aspirations of the Strategy.
This application was submitted in January 2017 and a decision is expected shortly. See further information on the Community Led Local Development Programme.