semlep esif2

SEMLEP'S ESIF Portal - All You Need To Know

The South East Midlands was allocated £117million* from the 2014-20 European Structural Investment Fund (ESIF) Growth Programme. The Growth Programme provides investment to projects that promote growth, jobs and social inclusion.

ESIF comprises three different funds:

  1. European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
  2. European Social Fund (ESF)
  3. European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD)

Government departments manage and administer the funds: Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) for ERDF, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for ESF and, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) for EAFRD.

SEMLEP is responsible for developing the ESIF strategy. This identifies local priorities that help to determine where funds are invested. We also provide information about the Growth Programme calls for funding applications. 

You can read more about the key funding priorities identified by SEMLEP and partners in the SEMLEP ESIF Strategy. In April 2017, SEMLEP and Northamptonshire Local Enterprise Partnership merged. Northamptonshire's ESIF Strategy and information about future ESIF investments are included on the SEMLEP website.  

As of May 2017, around £64million of the ERDF and ESF allocation is invested in local projects that:

  • Support people back to work
  • Develop workforce skills
  • Help businesses to grow
  • Invest in innovation
  • Promote our low carbon economy

Spring 2017 update

The Government has guaranteed funding for all projects which have a signed contract before the UK exits the European Union in March 2019. SEMLEP and partners are preparing for the second phase of the ESIF Growth Programme. New calls for funding applications are expected to be released between Autumn 2017 and Winter 2018. 

For all enquiries please email esif@semlep.com.

*£ stirling value may change depending on exchange rate fluctuations.

Funding Programmes

European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

The total value of the SEMLEP ERDF Programme is around £56m*. The ERDF is a fund designed to: 

  • develop an economy based on knowledge and innovation
  • promote a resource efficient, greener and more competitive economy
  • foster an economy with high levels of employment, delivering social and territorial cohesion

The priorities for the ERDF are:

  1. enhancing the competitiveness of small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs)
  2. supporting the development of a low carbon economy
  3. helping businesses to increase investment in research and development (R&D)
  4. supporting initiatives that positively impact on the environment

 

What can ERDF fund?

Any ERDF funded project will need to meet stringent national eligibility requirements and fit with local priorities as described in the SEMLEP ESIF Strategy and NEP ESIF Strategy. You can read more about national requirements in the European Regional Development Fund Operational Programme 2014-20.

ERDF will only fund up to 50% of total project cost. The remaining half will have to be sourced by the applicant. In most cases, this will be a cash match. In some instances, it can be in the form of land or buildings. 

Indicative activities include

Supporting SMEs, including social enterprises, through business support and coaching, access to networks, clusters and markets; research and innovation support and, grants as well as financial products.

 

How can I apply for ERDF?

Calls are placed on www.gov.uk when open and potential applicants will need to apply in two stages (outline and full application). Further details on how to apply are available in the full programme guidance.

In January 2017, SEMLEP held a series of workshops to provide information and support to potential applicants interested in ERDF funding.

For more details please see the following information:

SEMLEP_ERDF_presentation [PDF]

SEMLEP_Low carbon Economy Workshop [PDF]

SEMLEP_Supporting Biodiversity Workshop [PDF]

 

Forthcoming calls

New calls are expected to be launched from Autumn 2017 until February 2018 to ensure that applicants have signed contracts in place before the UK leaves the European Union. 

Who do I contact?

Contact SEMLEP's ESIF team Sandra Turner or Jane Roemer via email or by calling the office on 01234 436100. 

* the sterling value may change depending on exchange rate fluctuations.

European Social Fund (ESF)

The SEMLEP ESF programme allocation is worth around £54million* 

ESF is a fund aimed at people rather than businesses. It focuses particularly on people who are unemployed or economically inactive; young people aged 15-24 who are not in education, employment or training; and people who are socially excluded. 

ESF can also fund projects that support people in work by investing in basic, intermediate and higher level and technical skills to help employees progress in work and help drive growth in their organisations by improving productivity.

What can the ESF fund?

ESF activities must add value to what government is already doing to support people back into work and improve skills. It cannot support activities that would otherwise be funded by government or businesses.

Any ESF funded project will need to meet stringent national eligibility requirements and fit with local priorities as described in the SEMLEP ESIF Strategy and the NEP ESIF Strategy. You can read more about national requirements in the European Social Fund Operational Programme 2014-20.

ESF will only fund up to 50% of total project cost. The remaining half will have to be sourced by the applicant. In some cases, it is provided at source by government departments and other statutory bodies such as the Big Lottery, DWP or the Skills Funding Agency.

Indicative activities and include:

Pre-employment training in core work-related skills; preparation for apprenticeships; pre-traineeship and pre-Work Programme assistance. Outreach work to engage marginalised young people aged 15-18 in customised training and volunteering activities; encourage young people aged 15-24 to uptake an apprenticeship or traineeship.  Activities helping individuals to overcome barriers and improve their employability.

For people who are in employment:  basic skills particularly in SMEs; intermediate, technical and higher skills at level 2, 3 and above; entrepreneurial/business skills; brokerage of opportunities for learning, work placements, apprenticeships or traineeships, and graduate placements.

How can I apply for ESF?

In the first half of the ESF programme for the SEMLEP Area, there were three main funding mechanisms: open calls, opt-ins and community-led local development. For the second half of the programme only open calls and opt-ins will be available. (The latter is yet to be confirmed by the Managing Authority, the DWP)

  1. Open Calls: projects will need to find their own cash match-funding. Calls are placed on the Government website www.gov.uk when open. Potential applicants will need to apply in two stages (outline and full application). Further details on how to apply can be found in the full ESIF Programme Guidance.
  2. Opt-ins: The Department for Work and Pensions, the Skills Funding Agency and the Big Lottery provide match-funding for ESF. This means that projects do not have to find match-funding for their projects.  Approximately 70 per cent of the ESF will be distributed through opt-in organisations through a combination of contracts and grants. Each opt-in organisation will have their own procedures for procuring activities using contracts or grants. Each will have a dedicated e-portal for applications. Find out more about the Opt-ins

Forthcoming calls

New calls are expected to be launched from Autumn 2017 until February 2018, to ensure that applicants have signed contracts in place before the UK leaves the EU in March 2019.

Who do I contact for more information?

In the first instance please contact SEMLEP's ESIF Manager, Sandra Turner on email: sandra.turner@semlep.com or by calling 01234 436100. 

* the sterling value may change dependent on exchange rate fluctuations.

European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD)

The SEMLEP EAFRD Programme is worth over £5m*.  EAFRD is a specific rural fund and all projects must be located or deliver outputs in a designated rural area. Please note, the Department for Farming and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) refers to the EAFRD programme as the Growth Programme. 

What will EAFRD Fund?

Minimum grant size: £35,000

Grant type: Capital expenditure only

Intervention Rates: These vary but the norm is 40% of the project total cost. 

EAFRD Call process

There is a two stage - an expression of interest and, if approved, the applicant will need to complete a full application.

Grant Priorities

  • Business development
  • Food processing
  • Small-scale tourism infrastructure
  • Tourism cooperation
  • Supply chain cooperation
  • Renewables

For further information on SEMLEP priorities please refer to the SEMLEP ESIF Strategy, the NEP ESIF strategy and the Rural Inclusion Plan.

Who can Apply?

The eligibility of applicants varies according to the priority that the project fits. The following sets out the range of eligible applicants for the EAFRD (Growth Programme) grant:

  • All micro and small businesses in a rural area
  • New businesses or individuals who want to start a business in a rural area
  • Rural community groups
  • Any public or private bodies working in partnership with rural small or micro businesses or rural community groups
  • Organisations in charge of tourist and recreational development
  • Some EAFRD priorities are available for ‘not for profit’ organisations and a higher intervention rate may be applicable

Before an application can be submitted for an EAFRD grant, applicants need to register at www.gov.uk/claim-rural-payments

Overlapping Areas

Local Enterprise Partnership areas can overlap with another.  In SEMLEP’s case we overlap with:

  • Bucks Thames Valley LEP
  • Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership
  • Oxfordshire LEP

If a project will be in an overlap area, applicants can apply to either of the LEPs. However, applicants can only apply to one LEP area for a project, ie applicants can’t get funding for the same project twice.

Who do I contact for more information?

In the first instance please contact Jane Roemer on 01234 436100 or via email

* the sterling value may change dependent on exchange rate fluctuations.

Live Calls

ERDF - details here

Currently, there are four calls still open for European Regional Development Fund projects worth over £14m

The calls focus on:      

Promoting Research and Innovation - total call value £3.7m. For further information please visit Research and Innovation ESIF call for proposals - GOV.UK

Enhancing the Competitiveness of SMEs - total call value £4.4m. For further information please visit SME Support ESIF call for proposals - GOV.UK

Supporting the shift towards a low-carbon economy in all sectors - total call value £4.5m.  For further information please visit Low Carbon ESIF call for proposals - GOV.UK

Preserving and Protecting the Environment and Promoting Resource Efficiency - £1.6m. For further information please visit Environment and Resource Efficiency ESIF call for proposals - GOV.UK

Calls will be open until October 2017 with fixed review points where projects will be assessed in batches. 

The proposed four review points are: 17 February, 30 April, 30 July and 31 October. 

ERDF requires 50% match funding, which can be public or private funds. Minimum application size for applications will be £500,000 plus match funding.

ESF - details here

There are no calls open at present. 

 


 

If you would like to discuss ESF project ideas or require support, please contact SEMLEP's EU funding specialists: Sandra.Turner@semlep.com or  Jane.Roemer@semlep.com or call us on 01234 436100.

EAFRD - details here

The following information is in relation to the latest EAFRD live call, a new £5m fund available to businesses in the South East Midlands to help them create new jobs and grow the rural economy

Core documents

Gov.UK government publications RDPE Growth Programme

RDPE_Growth_Programme_business_development_handbook

RDPE_Growth_Programme_food_processing_handbook

RDPE_Growth_Programme_rural_tourism_infrastructure_handbook

 

EAFRD funding is only available in rural areas. 

Within the handbooks in the ‘LEP Directory’ sections, there is a link to Defra’s 2011 Rural Maps, which tell you whether your project is in a rural area or not.

Defra are currently updating these maps and the links in the handbooks will be updated once this work is finished.

In the meantime, you can see the updated rural definition (which will be the basis of the updated maps) now at www.Magic.Gov.UK.

 

Quick Guide: using Magic maps 

To find out if you are in a rural area, visit www.Magic.Gov.UK .You will see a Map Search Box and a Table of Contents located directly below on the front page.

In the Map Search Box, type in the location of the project.

In the Table of Contents:

  1. Click on the Administrative Geographies option in the Table of Contents
  2. Then select Other Administrative Boundaries. This will open a set of drop down options
  3. Select Rural Areas Within Local Enterprise Partnerships (England)

The map will then take you to the location and you can see if the project is within a rural area

ESIF Events

ESF Consultation Event 18 July 2017

Consultation event: priorities for final phase of  European Social Fund Investments

Date: 18 July 2017

Time: 10.00am to 3.00pm 

Location: Luton Hat Factory - Studio 1, Bute Street, Luton, LU1 3EY

 

Since 2014, over £30million of ESF money has been invested in 20 projects across the South East Midlands. These projects:

  • support people back to work
  • develop workforce skills
  • help combat social exclusion

Today, we have approximately £22 million of European Social Fund money notionally allocated to the South East Midlands for the second phase of the ESF Programme. 

At this consultation event, we will seek your views on the local priorities and where the remaining European Social Fund programme should focus. We want to work with current and future delivery partners to understand gaps in provision to ensure that all ESF money available is allocated to local projects that can deliver demonstrable benefits to disadvantaged people and communities in the South East Midlands. 

 

DOWNLOAD the full programme.

REGISTER your attendance. 

ERDF workshop: 20 July 2017

SEMLEP ‘s current rolling programme of ERDF calls will close on 31 October 2017. There are still funds left to be committed and we would like to invite you, as a potential applicant, to an ERDF information event on 20 July 2017 at SEMLEP in Cranfield, followed by surgeries in the afternoon.  

Colleagues from DCLG will be presenting at the workshop and will be available for the afternoon surgeries.

The four calls currently open are: 

  * Priority Axis 1: Promoting research and innovation [total call value is £3.7m]

  * Priority Axis 3: Enhancing the Competitiveness of SMEs [total call value £4.4m]

  * Priority Axis 4: Supporting the shift towards a low-carbon economy in all sectors  [total call value £4.5m]

  * Priority Axis 6: Preserving and Protecting the Environment and Promoting Resource Efficiency  [total call value ££1.6m]

Rolling calls will be assessed in batches at fixed review points:30 July and 31 October.

Please note that CLG reserves the right to put good quality applications on a reserve list should the calls be oversubscribed.

ERDF requires 50% match funding, which can be public or private funds. Minimum application size for applications will be £500,000 plus match funding. The full specification will contain information and links to the requirements and eligibility of the ERDF programme.

Places for the information event are limited. To avoid disappointment, please reserve your place at the event now. To book a surgery slot, e-mail Lucinda.Young@semlep.com or call her on 01234 436100. 

DOWNLOAD the event programme here. 

REGISTER your attendance here. 

 

ESIF Documents and Strategies

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ESIF Information & Briefings

ESIF Strategy

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