For the 2014 to 2020 funding period, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF) and part of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), will be brought together into an EU Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme. The top priorities of this Programme are innovation, support for SMEs, low carbon, skills, employment and social inclusion.
The government has announced the breakdown of €6 billion of the Growth Programme Funds by Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area.
Each LEP has been asked to set out how it intends to use the Growth Programme Funds in a European Union (EU) Structural and Investment Funds strategy. In developing its strategy, the LEP will work with and reflect the interests of a broad range of economic, social and environmental partners, including businesses, civil society, rural partners and further and higher education institutions. We have asked LEPs to prepare first drafts of their EU strategy by 7 October 2013, and agree final proposals with government in early 2014.
In April 2013 we published preliminary guidance to LEPs on how to develop their EU Structural and Investment Funds strategy. This supplementary guidance explains to LEPs and their partners what information they should include in their EU Structural and Investment Funds strategy documents, and how these will be evaluated by government.
There are 2 annexes to the guidance explaining some key elements of the delivery model and the revised framework of European Growth Programme priorities which reflect discussions between government and the European Commission. They also include opt-in prospectuses to help LEPs indicate whether they wish to opt in to particular service offers. These 2 annexes are: