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Breaking news: £79million European funding launched today

20 March 2015

Businesses and communities across the South East Midlands will be amongst the first in England to have a chance to benefit from up to £79 million* of European funding for jobs and growth, launched today by the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP).

Local businesses and enterprises will now have an opportunity to bid for funding for a range of areas such as low carbon initiatives, competitiveness, innovation and rural economy sectors of food, drink and tourism.

The South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP), an area which covers Aylesbury, Bedford, Central Bedfordshire, Corby, Daventry, Kettering, Luton, Milton Keynes, Northampton and South Northamptonshire, has secured European Structural Investment Funding (ESIF) of approximately £79million to be delivered over the next six years.

The money comes from three separate funds – the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) – all aiming to increase social and economic prosperity and to create a more competitive, prosperous and inclusive economy, with SEMLEP one of five LEPs in England to launch EAFRD funding.

Councillor Peter Marland, SEMLEP Board Director and Leader of Milton Keynes Council, said: “SEMLEP has worked hard to secure European funding on this scale and it should be a real boost for our local economy. We have worked closely with all the relevant agencies and partners to be one of the first to launch this programme of funding to help projects in our area benefit from investment at the earliest opportunity.”

Funding available to bid for from now is as follows:

ERDF funding: There is an initial allocation of £19million. A total of £6million has been allocated to low carbon projects, while a further £6million has been set aside for proposals which look at ‘stimulating enterprise’ and ‘enhancing the competitiveness’ of small to medium sized businesses. Projects which ‘strengthen and exploit innovation and knowledge assets’ will be competing for a share of £3.6million while an additional £3.4million has been earmarked for ‘buildings for growth’. The scheme requires applicants to provide 50 per cent match funding, which can be from either the public or private sector. Calls will be open for between four weeks and three months

EAFRD funding: £825,000 has been earmarked for capital based grants for small to medium sized businesses in rural areas, with priority towards supporting our food and drink and tourism sectors.

ESF funding: The South East Midlands has been allocated £37million.

Daniel Charles Mouawad, Chief Executive of the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP), said: “The funding launched today will benefit a wide range of projects across the South East Midlands that will help create jobs and stimulate the economy as well as support community and social initiatives.

“It demonstrates continued confidence from central government in the potential future growth in the South East Midlands and we would encourage all eligible organisations to consider applying for part of this funding support as soon as possible.”

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

 

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