Press release

Millions available to help small businesses reach their full potential

For the first time European Regional Development funds are targeted at Local Enterprise Partnership areas in a major shift to more localised spending.

  • local firms across the country to benefit from £2.6 billion funding that will help create jobs and boost skills
  • funds to be locally-led from the start

Local organisations working with small firms will now be able to apply for a share of funding from the latest round of the European Regional Development Fund.

The funding will support innovation, boost businesses and create jobs across local economies and bring economic benefits to the wider area that will be felt beyond the area’s boundaries.

Across the country Local Enterprise Partnerships and other local partners will play a key role in shaping how the money is allocated and invested.

Local Growth and Northern Powerhouse Minister James Wharton said:

This funding will give the places a chance to contribute more to the national economy and unlock local potential. It will ensure we can build up local economies around the country and the Northern Powerhouse that will have a big and real and positive impact on people’s lives, delivering more jobs, more opportunities and a better future for all.

We want local partners to come forward with how they want to use this money to drive forward their economy. As part of our long-term economic plan this money will provide a big boost to businesses and help create numerous jobs locally that will also benefit people living in towns and villages nearby.

Around the country a total of £5 billion is being made available from the 2014 to 2020 round of the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund to fund local projects.

The new programme is built from the local priorities of England’s 39 Local Enterprise Partnership areas who know best what is needed to boost growth locally. All funding decisions will be taken within this framework.

The main priorities of the European Regional Development Fund programme are research and innovation, supporting and promoting small to medium sized enterprises and the creation of a low carbon economy.

Further information

A single European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme for the 2014 to 2020 funding period has been set up to combine 3 separate European Funds. These are:

  • the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
  • the European Social Fund (ESF)
  • part of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD)

The total European Regional Development Fund for the 2014 to 2020 funding period is €3.6 billion (approximately £2.5 billion). This sum will be supplemented by national public and private funds.

Projects calls are now live on the GOV.UK website.

This 2014 to 2020 round of the programme is the most locally-led fund yet, with Local Enterprise Partnerships and other local partners playing a key role in shaping how the money is allocated and invested.

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