ESIF Growth Programme Bulletin October 2019

Monday 14th of October 2019 11:26 AM

Welcome to the October issue of the European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds Programme Bulletin. This month, alongside the usual Programme updates, we include word on the recent publication of two new case study booklets and some important information around the ESF Reserve Fund. 

Latest Programme News

ERDF calls/programme update

The ERDF Programme in England has a total value of £3.296 billion. We have legally committed £1.969 billion of ERDF across 754 projects. A further 314 applications worth a combined £689 million are currently under consideration (figures correct as of end of August 2019). With over 100 calls closed in late September, these numbers will grow in future months.

Further details of ERDF and ESF Programme activity can be found on our @esif1420england twitter account.

ESF calls/programme update​

This article provides a snapshot of the ESF commitment picture as at 31 August 2019, with the position at the last report (ESF data to 31 July 2019). Previous figures are shown in brackets, for comparison purposes.

The level of ESF commitment at 31 August was £2.046 billion (£2.018 billion), 67.5% (66.5%) of the total ESF allocation:

  • In Priority Axis 1 and 2 there are 220 (213) Direct Bid projects with commitments totalling £487.6 million (£469.1 million) and 153 MOUs for the National Co-Financing Organisations (CFOs) valued at £1.53 billion.
  • There are 41 ESF Funding Agreements for Technical Assistance with a value of £28.3 million.
  • There are 162 Full Applications in appraisal, which total £360 million (PA1 £132 million, PA2 £227 million and PA3 £458,000). 

As at 31 August 2019, there were 33 ESF live calls on Funding Finder on GOV.UK to the value of £177.1 million.

The forward timetable contains 52 calls, to the value of £126.1 million. This comprises 22 PA1 calls (£46.3 million; 36.7%) and 30 PA2 calls (£79.8 million; 63.3%).  Additionally, there are some calls in the timetable whose value is yet to be finally confirmed, so the total value of this pipeline of waiting calls will in reality be slightly higher than this.

EAFRD calls/programme update - RDPE Growth Programme

The 2017 RDPE Growth Programme calls for tourism infrastructure, food processing and business development projects in 36 LEP areas closed to new Expressions of Interest on 31 May 2018.

Following assessment by the RPA and local ESIF subcommittees, invitations to submit a full application were issued to 919 applicants for funding totalling £179 million.

So far, the RPA has received 728 Full Applications requesting £135 million. To date, 521 projects have secured grant funding worth £96 million.

Overall, under the RDPE Growth Programme £45 million has so far been paid to projects and 750 FTE jobs have been created with a further 3,774 jobs contracted.

In addition, 22 contracts for funding totalling £79.5 million have been awarded under the Rural Broadband Infrastructure offer.

Planning is underway for a further round of Growth Programme Calls to maximise the funding committed to EAFRD Growth Programme projects. As with previous calls there will be three themes; Food Processing, Business Development and Tourism Infrastructure. The scheme is expected to launch later in the autumn.

To access the funding finder tool, where all calls can be searched/filtered by name, status (open/closed), type (priority area), location and funding source, click here:

Guidance Update

ETC Technical Notice
An updated version of European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) technical notice, which provides guidance in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal, was recently published on GOV.UK. Click here to access the guidance.
News of new ERDF guidance can be found in the latest ERDF Practitioner Network Bulletin – email to subscribe to this bulletin.
ESF Guidance -

Recent updates to ESF Guidance that have been published to our GOV.UK pages are:

  • Funding Agreement Example – Published 23 September 2019
  • ESF Online Full Applications Guidance – Published 24 September 2019
  • ESF Data Evidence Requirements – Published 1 October 2019

Recent Action Notes published on GOV.UK can be found in the next ESF Project Bulletin due out early October.

Guidance on EAFRD can be found here

ERDF and ESF Reserve Funds

The ESF Reserve Fund was launched following the ESIF Growth Programme Board meeting on 19 September. A letter setting out how the Reserve Fund will work has been sent to local ESIF Sub-Committee Chairs. ESF Managing Authority LEP Leads are fully briefed on the arrangements for the Reserve Fund including the criteria and priorities that were considered by the Growth Programme Board. They stand ready to support LEP areas to develop and submit Call proposals and submission for consideration.

The ESF Reserve Fund will help ensure we are able to make best use of remaining programme funds to maximise local growth, employment, education and social inclusion opportunities and ensure any financial risks are well managed. Its main aims are to invest the full value of the Programme and, to ensure the 2023 performance framework and programme targets are met. The Reserve Fund is a mechanism to help the ESF MA commit remaining funds whilst ensuring a continuing local focus. All ESF Calls will continue to be published on GOV.UK and all current arrangements for applications for funding being appraised remain unchanged.

The ERDF MA is finalising the ERDF Reserve Fund in discussion with stakeholders and with the Growth Programme Board when it meets in December. It will be ready to be launched in January 2020.

ESF Case Study – helping individuals within families at risk of being socially isolated.

The Positive Progressions project operates in Selby, Craven, Harrogate, York and the rural villages around these areas. It is Co-financed by the National Lottery Community fund – Building Better Opportunities programme and supports parents or guardians to help them move closer and, in many cases, into employment, education or training. Participants are assigned a dedicated keyworker and together they agree on a tailor-made Personal Development Plan.

This plan identifies how they can improve confidence and resilience, and develop their skills and experience to help them to support themselves and their families. Opportunities made possible through the project include enrolling on training courses, finding volunteering opportunities and support with finances and budgeting.

The project’s website reports that ‘over half our participants have successfully found employment’. Feedback from participants has been extremely positive, and many have stated that the keyworker gives them hope that they can change their lives and those of their families forever. 

Read more about the activities and achievements of the Positive Progressions project, including case studies:

EAFRD Case Study - Little’s Ltd

Location: Willand, Devon
Grant amount: £56,762.90
Total cost: £141,907.00
Little’s Ltd is a family business trading in instant coffee for over 30 years. Little’s produces flavoured instant coffee and premium single origin coffees.

The purpose of the project was to expand the business by supplying products to an ever expanding market in flavoured coffees.

A new production line was purchased which was more efficient, products could be filled 50% faster and it could fill 100gm jars where previously only 50gm jars could be produced.

Project outcomes:

  • 5 new FTE jobs have been created.
  • About to launch own label product in 100gm jar.
  • Launched a number of new products including decaf flavoured and premium single origin coffee.

Certified to handle Organic and Fairtrade products.

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Category: Business Growth