Guidance

England 2014 to 2020 European Structural and Investment Funds

European structural investment funds

Information about the European Structural and Investment Funds programme for 2014 to 2020 in England.

About the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth programme

The European Structural and Investment Funds programme provides funds to help local areas grow. The funds support investment in innovation, businesses, skills and employment and create jobs.

Running from 2014 to 2020, there are three types of funds involved in the programme.

  • European Social Fund (ESF) focuses on improving the employment opportunities, promoting social inclusion and investing in skills by providing help people need to fulfil their potential.

  • European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) supports research and innovation, small to medium sized enterprises and creation of a low carbon economy.

  • European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) supports rural businesses to grow and expand, improve knowledge and skills and get started. Read information and access documents on this fund here.

Read more on the programme and the funds and view projects that have received funding from the European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund here.

Who can apply for funding

A variety of requirements and criteria must be met in order to apply for funding through the programme. Read the programme guidance to see who is eligible to apply for funding from the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund.

Read detailed information about the funds including the priorities, objectives and target groups and how the funds are being implemented:

Applying for European Structural and Investment Growth programme funds

There are two routes to apply for funding.

Route one – The Funding Finder

Through this route funding opportunities for all of the European Regional Development Fund, part of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and part of the European Social Fund are available.

Apply through the Funding Finder

Route two - co-financing (European Social Fund only)

Also known as opt-in organisations, a large proportion of European Social Fund money is available through this alternative route. Co-financing means that European Social Fund can cover up to 100% of an approved project’s eligible costs.

Read details on this approach, the opt-in organisations and how to apply through this route on our partner page.

Find out more about the different stages of a typical European Regional Development Fund or European Social Fund project (PDF, 1.43MB, 31 pages) .

Programme guidance, forms, publicity and performance information

Managing the European Structural and Investment Growth programme funds

Contact us

For all general enquiries about the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth programme or the European Regional Development Fund, email esif@communities.gsi.gov.uk.

For enquiries about the European Social Fund, email ESF.2014-2020@dwp.gsi.gov.uk.

For enquiries about the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, email rdpenetwork@defra.gsi.gov.uk.

For local information and enquiries, contact the Local Enterprise Partnership Network.

View the DCLG complaints procedure.