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European Funding

The South West region has more than £910 million of European funding available from 2007-2013 for economic regeneration to encourage growth, productivity and reduce inequalities. This is divided between 2 Programmes:

• Convergence – for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (£565m)
• Competitiveness and Employment – for the rest of the region (£345m)

The European Union supports poorer regions of Member States by providing funds to help them regenerate their economies and create new jobs. There are three funding programmes known collectively as structural funds: More information on the national picture

The programmes are made up of funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF) and aim to fund activities which will:

  • Address worklessness and improve workforce skills
  • Stimulate innovation and promote added value industries
  • Encourage enterprise and sustainable growth
  • Unlock the economic potential of place

Oversight of the delivery of the programmes is undertaken by Programme Monitoring Committees (PMCs) which pull together representatives from key partners and stakeholders across the private, public and voluntary sectors to help set the strategic direction for the programmes and monitor progress and delivery issues. The PMCs are chaired by the Government Office Regional Director. Day to day management of the ERDF programmes and the delivery and commissioning arrangements are undertaken by the South West Regional Development Agency. The ESF programmes are managed in the region by GOSW

Both programmes in the South West have got off to a good start and compare well in progress terms to other programmes operating in England. It is worth noting that Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are the only areas in England which qualify for Convergence support from the EU. The Competitiveness and Employment Programme is available in every English region.

The European Commission sets annual financial targets for programme expenditure which if not reached risks de-commitment of funds back to Brussels. These targets are known as N+2 targets and need to be achieved by 31 December each calendar year. The Convergence programme has already achieved its end 2009 target and the Competitiveness programme is on track to do so. This represents very good performance given the backdrop of the economic downturn.

Related documents

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Internet links

Contact information

European Funding Team
Economy, Growth and Regeneration Directorate
Government Office for the South West
Mast House
Shepherds Wharf
24 Sutton Road
tel: 01752 635021
fax: 01752 635090

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