Supporting jobs and growth

The European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) is the European Union’s main funding programme for supporting jobs and growth.

The ESIF Programme runs until 2020 and is split across a number of different funds. Organisations from all sectors are able to bid for the funding. European structural funding must be matched by national funding. Working with the Managing Authorities, LEPs are responsible for strategy on how the money is to be spent, finding projects and match funding, and ensuring that the projects deliver the objectives.

Hertfordshire LEP is responsible for setting the direction and priorities for ESIF on behalf of Government for our local area. Our ESIF programme supports businesses to compete and grow and improves people’s skills and employment prospects.

Hertfordshire LEP has been notionally allocated £59.7m of ESIF for investment in Hertfordshire from 2015 onwards. The amount can vary according to exchange rate fluctuations.  

What can I apply for?

ESIF covers three funding programmes: European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), European Social Fund (ESF) and European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).

ERDF focuses on strengthening research, technological development and innovation; enhancing the competitiveness of SMEs; and supporting the shift towards a low carbon economy. Our notional allocation is £32.1m including 50% match funding.

ESF concentrates on promoting employment and supporting labour mobility; promoting social inclusion and combating poverty; and investing in education, skills and lifelong learning. Our notional allocation is £26.24m including 50% match funding.

EAFRD focuses on building knowledge and skills in rural areas; funding new and developing non-agricultural, micro, and small and medium-sized rural businesses; funding small scale renewable and broadband investments in rural areas; and supporting tourism activities in rural areas. Our total notional allocation is £1.36m including 50% match funding.

Current timescales from receipt of outline application to grant funding agreement is on average 380 working days.

EU Technical Assistance 

An EU-funded grant via the Department for Communities and Local Government to enable us to provide technical assistance and advice to prospective applicants for European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The funding requires a 50% match and is available until August 2018.