Guidance

ERDF: applying for funding

How to apply to the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for economic regeneration projects promoted primarily by the public sector.

Who can apply for ERDF

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is aimed at economic regeneration projects promoted primarily by the public sector. This involves:

  • government departments
  • local enterprise partnerships
  • local authorities
  • further and higher education establishments
  • other public bodies
  • volunteer sector organisations

ERDF grants can also be used in certain circumstances to help to develop small and medium-sized enterprises. In some programmes private sector companies may also apply. See details for each specific programme below.

ERDF helps projects which offer substantial benefits to the programme area and its communities. These projects would not take place without a grant. The rest of the funding, known as ‘match funding’, comes from other sources such as local authorities, government schemes, other public bodies and the private sector.

ERDF is provided in geographically defined operational programmes that aim to support economic regeneration through projects in the areas of innovation, business support and sustaining communities. The current round of programmes started in 2007 and runs until the end of 2013.

Information about the availability of funding and any calls seeking further proposals is in the individual programme sections.

How to apply

To apply for ERDF investment, contact the programme team for your region. They can advise you on the application process providing advice on the project’s eligibility for ERDF funding.

Information on applying for funding from specific programmes is in the sections below:

Applying in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

Investments made through the Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly convergence ERDF programme must deliver the priorities outlined in the operational programme and partners have agreed to focus on targeted strategic projects which achieve this.

To explore new project ideas please contact the programme delivery team.

Calls for proposals in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

There are currently no calls for proposals. Any future calls will be published here.

Grant for Business Investment

The Grant for Business Investment is a specific grant scheme managed by the programme delivery team which can support businesses to bring forward capital projects leading to long-term improvements in productivity, skills and employment.

For more information please contact convergence enquiries line on 0303 444 6585 or email SWconv.ERDFenquiries@communities.gsi.gov.uk.

Applying in the East Midlands

Calls for proposals in the East Midlands

There are currently no live calls within the East Midlands. Details of live calls will be placed on this website page when available.

Programme priorities in the the East Midlands

ERDF funding in the East Midlands is focused on 3 priority areas:

Priority axis 1: innovation and sustainable business practice

Priority 1 uses the EU’s JESSICA (Joint European Support for Sustainable Development in City Areas) mechanism to invest in urban development funds to accelerate investment in urban areas. Using ERDF alongside resources from the European Investment Bank, the £20 million East Midlands Urban Development Fund provides loans to support the development of premises focused on innovation and growth.

The fund operator (Jones Lang LaSalle) is keen to engage and work closely with East Midlands public and private sector partners to identify potential investments that fit with regional and local priorities and will deliver the best returns for the fund. For more information about the fund please visit the East Midlands Urban Development Fund website.

Priority axis 2: sustainable economic and enterprise activity in disadvantaged communities

The focus of priority 2 is to provide support and resources to localities with high levels of deprivation and low levels of economic activity in order to increase sustainable economic and enterprise activity.

Information on the specific districts is available to download below.

Corby

Derby City

Leicester City

Lincolnshire (Lincoln, Boston and East Lindsey)

North Derbyshire and North Nottinghamshire

Nottingham City

Oadby and Wigston

Priority axis 3: technical assistance

Priority 3 for technical assistance seeks to support the implementation and monitoring of the operational programme. A rolling programme for partners to apply for technical assistance to support activities linked to the facilitation of stakeholders’ effective participation is open.

If you would like to apply for funding under priority axis 3 please refer to the associated prospectus and the programme’s technical assistance strategy which is included in the information below.

For more information contact the ERDF East Midlands programme delivery team on 0303 444 6427 or email em.erdfenquiries@communities.gsi.gov.uk.

Applying in the East of England

ERDF funding in the East of England is delivered through 3 priority areas:

  • priority axis 1: innovation and knowledge transfer
  • priority axis 2: enterprise and business support
  • priority axis 3: sustainable development, production and consumption

More information on the priority axes is available to download:

The East of England programme accepts applications at any time - applicants wishing to discuss their proposal should call: 0303 444 6400 or email: ee.erdfenquiries@communities.gsi.gov.uk

Organisations in the public, private or voluntary sector looking to develop a project whose beneficiaries are within the East of England can apply.

ERDF venture capital fund in the East of England

The East of England programme’s ERDF venture capital fund has a value of around £20 million. The fund is operated by the University of East Anglia who can be contacted for more information on the fund.

For more information on applying for ERDF funding in the East of England contact the ERDF East of England programme delivery team on 030 3444 6400 or email ee.erdfenquiries@communities.gsi.gov.uk.

Applying in London

The London ERDF programme is administered by the Greater London Authority (GLA). Further information is available on the GLA website

Applying in the North East

Applications for ERDF funding from the North East programme are only invited in response to time-limited calls for proposals. There are currently no live calls for proposals.

Application process and forms

To apply for ERDF from the North East programme when a call is open, applicants should submit an outline application using the form available in the detailed guide ERDF: national guidance.

Completed outline application forms, accompanied by a completed outline application deliverables, costs and funding annex spreadsheet, should be submitted by email to the programme delivery team (contacts below). Guidance on completing these forms is available in the detailed guide ERDF: national guidance.

If applicants would like to discuss an application before submission, they should contact the programme delivery team.

Please note that match funding must be identified, but not necessarily secured, before an outline application is submitted as ERDF provides gap funding for project proposals.

Once the outline application is developed to an acceptable standard it is then presented to the programme executive group (a sub-group of the local management committee) for a decision on whether it will be asked to develop a full application.

Applicants with outline applications that are selected will be invited to submit a full application.

For more information contact the ERDF North East programme delivery team on 0303 444 6475 or email ne.erdfenquiries@communities.gsi.gov.uk.

Applying in the North West

The North West delivery team allocates funding through a single appraisal process. In order for a project to be successful in applying for funding, the project must fulfill the criteria of the investment framework relevant to the type of project. There are 11 investment frameworks that cover 11 action areas over 4 priority areas.

Investment frameworks and application process in the North West

Calls for projects/proposals in the North West

There are currently no live calls for proposals. Any future calls will be published here.

Applying in the South East

Applications for funding from the South East programme are sought in response to funding rounds.

ERDF funding round 6

The outline application period for round 6 opened at 12 noon on Friday 1 March 2013, and closes at 12 noon on Tuesday 30 April 2013.

Up to £8 million of ERDF funding will be made available to bid for in this round, with the aim of committing as much as possible of the remaining funds this year.

This is an open bidding round. Bids are not required to meet any particular focus, which was the case in previous rounds. The only requirement is that proposed bids are eligible within the operational programme (see details in ERDF programmes and resources and will deliver against the programme’s outputs and results targets. Projects have to demonstrate value for money, but we are not expecting a pan-regional approach to delivery in this round.

Applicants will be expected to provide match funding for their project at an intervention rate of 50%.

Projects must be 12 to 18 months in length. Projects of a minimum total value of £400,000 (£200,000 ERDF) will be considered. There is no maximum total value (within reason).

We are hoping to arrange some assistance for a limited number of applicants in the development of outline applications on a first-come-first-served basis. More information on this will be available shortly. To request an appointment please contact SE.ERDFEnquiries@communities.gsi.gov.uk.

Accessing application forms, annexes, and guidance documents

All these can be downloaded from ERDF: national guidance.

Application delivery instructions

Original, signed, (hard) copies of all outline applications, along with a digital version saved on an enclosed CD (in MS Word format, please) should be hand-delivered to the address on the ‘Round 6 outline application label’.

Further information

For any further information or queries please email SE.ERDFEnquiries@communities.gsi.gov.uk.

Applying in the South West

Investments made through the South West competitiveness ERDF programme (excluding Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly) must deliver the priorities outlined in the operational programme. Partners have agreed to focus on targeted strategic projects that achieve this. To explore new project ideas please contact the programme delivery team using the contacts below.

Calls for proposals in the South West

There are currently no calls for proposals. Any future calls will be published here.

For more information please contact the South West competitiveness enquiries on 0303 444 6580 or email SWcomp.ERDFenquiries@communities.gsi.gov.uk.

Applying in the West Midlands

Calls for projects and expressions of interest

This section provides information on all the open and limited calls for outline application under the West Midlands ERDF Programme 2007 to 2013. It also provides information on how to apply.

Call for project extensions

On Monday 31 March 2014 a call was launched to invite projects which are performing well against their existing funding agreement to bid for additional funding where they are able to demonstrate additional impact.

The call is applicable to live ERDF supported projects running in the West Midlands only and is able to consider extensions to project activity up to 31 December 2015, which is the last date for eligible expenditure under the current programme. Requests for expansions to current activity will also be considered.

The call has been agreed in partnership via the local management committee and invites supported projects who can meet the criteria to apply.

Full details of the call, the process to follow when responding and associated criteria can be viewed below.

The closing date for responses to this call is midday on Friday 9 May 2014.

Limited call for new projects

On Tuesday 1 April 2014 a limited call was launched to invite new projects under the current 2007 to 2013 ERDF Programme. The call will provide funding to support business growth across the geography of the 6 local enterprise partnerships of the West Midlands.

The call is applicable to local enterprise partnerships in the West Midlands only who are invited to identify projects which can be delivered by 31 December 2015.

The limited call has been agreed in partnership via the local management committee and invites local enterprise partnerships to submit projects which can meet the criteria to apply.

Full details of the call, the process to follow when responding and associated criteria can be viewed below.

The closing date for responses to this call is midday on Friday 9 May 2014.

Making an application

The ERDF programme is split into a number of priority areas. This section sets out how projects come forward under each priority area and the process for making an application.

Funding under priorities 1 and 2

The usual method by which projects are invited to come forward into priority 1 and 2 is via open bidding rounds. By exception, projects may be introduced via a limited bidding round (when only certain types of organisation may be invited to respond to the call) or very exceptionally by non competitive selection, when there is only one organisation who appears to be the only suitable and capable vehicle for delivering a specific operation.

A high-level plan for each priority, called the investment framework, sets out what funding is available for open and limited bidding against each area of activity. The decision to initiate a bidding round is made by the local management sub-committee.

When a bidding round is launched, a prospectus is published on the website setting out the:

  • priority under which we are seeking bids
  • sort of activity we are looking to support
  • amount of ERDF available
  • launch and closing date for the rounds
  • parameters for selection

The prospectus is agreed with the local management sub-committee.

You can sign up to the e-mail distribution list to receive an automatic alert each time a new call is launched by emailing WM.ERDFenquiries@communities.gsi.gov.uk with your details.

Funding under priority 3

Priority 3 operates differently from the other priorities in that it is implemented via an area-based ‘package’ approach. A package is a group of related projects in a closely defined urban area which has been identified as having high levels of economic need and opportunity. Six packages were identified in the following geographic areas:

  • North Staffordshire
  • Coventry and Nuneaton
  • Birmingham
  • Solihull
  • North Black Country
  • South Black Country

Each package is coordinated by a package manager who is responsible for the production and overall coordination of a package plan encompassing a suite of projects that realise the strategic benefits, specific actions and outputs outlined under priority 3.

Package managers are strategic coordinators developing projects with local partners through better leverage and alignment of activity at the relevant spatial level and bringing them forward through the package. This approach is designed to maximise impact, ensure high levels of added value, and reduce duplication of activity.

Application process in the West Midlands

For priority 1, 2, 4 and 5, we recommend that you read through the information on this website then contact the relevant priority manager to talk through your application. They can advise on the eligibility of your application and when the next bidding round is anticipated.

Details of all current bidding rounds will be made available on this website.

For priority 3, contact the relevant package manager.

Application form and guidance

When applying for ERDF funding there are 2 stages that projects progress through - an outline proposal and a full application. The documents for both stages can be found in the detailed guide ERDF: national guidance.

For more information contact the ERDF West Midlands programme delivery team on 0303 444 6590 or email WM.ERDFenquiries@communities.gsi.gov.uk.

Applying in Yorkshire and the Humber

Calls for proposals in Yorkshire and Humber

Applications for ERDF funding from the Yorkshire and Humber programme are only invited in response to time-limited calls for proposals. There are currently no live calls for proposals.

Application process and forms

To apply for ERDF from Yorkshire and the Humber’s programme, applicants should submit an outline application using the form available in the detailed guide ERDF: national guidance.

Completed outline application forms, accompanied by a completed outline application deliverables, costs and funding annex spreadsheet, should be submitted by email to YH.ERDFenquiries@communities.gsi.gov.uk. Guidance on completing these is also available in the detailed guide ERDF: national guidance.

Applicants are strongly advised to discuss applications before submission with the nominated Priority lead from the Growth Delivery Team detailed within the call document

Please note that match funding must be identified, but not necessarily secured, before an outline application is submitted as ERDF provides gap funding for project proposals.

The call document details the process for selection. Applicants with outline applications that are selected will be invited to submit a full application.

For more information contact the programme delivery team: Yorkshire and The Humber on 0303 444 6640 or email YH.ERDFenquiries@communities.gsi.gov.uk.

Help us improve GOV.UK

Please don't include any personal or financial information, for example your National Insurance or credit card numbers.