European Social Fund (ESF)
European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
European Fisheries Fund (EFF)
Government Offices (GOs) administer ESF and continue to work on the closure
of the 2000-06 programmes. They also chair the Programme Monitoring
Committees for ERDF 2007-13 programmes, which are delivered by the Regional
Development Agencies (RDAs). EFF is delivered by the Marine Management
Organisation. Each fund has a government department as its managing
The European Regional Development Fund
Since 2000, England has benefited from more than £5 billion of ERDF
funding, with a further €3.2 billion being invested in projects for
the new round of programmes (2007-13). These programmes are designed to
meet current needs by targeting employment, small and medium-sized
enterprises (SMEs), innovation, high-tech business investment, among other
key priorities identified by each region.
The managing authority for ERDF is Communities and Local Government (CLG).
However, responsibility for the day-to-day management of the 2007-13
programmes sits with the RDAs. Links to the RDAs and further information
about the new programmes can be found on the CLG website.
European Social Fund (2007-13)
The European Social Fund (ESF) funds training, human resources and equal
opportunities schemes to promote employment opportunities for people in
both Convergence and Regional Competitiveness and Employment Programme
There are nine Regional Competitiveness and Employment Programmes and one
Convergence Programme in England.
The Managing Authority for ESF is the Department for Work and Pensions
The 2007-2013 ESF Programme will invest £5 billion of which
£2.5 billion will come from the ESF and £2.5 billion will be
The priorities in the 2007 to 2013 ESF programme are designed to focus ESF
spending on specific activities and to ensure that it reaches people in
most need of support. There are two main priorities in England:
- Priority 1 is 'Extending employment opportunities'. It supports
projects to tackle the barriers to work faced by unemployed and
- Priority 2 is 'Developing a skilled and adaptable workforce'. It
supports projects to train people who do not have basic skills and
qualifications needed in the workplace.
Government Offices administer ESF in a number of ways:
- ensuring that funds are allocated and spent on the right things, in the
right place, at the right time in accordance with regulations
- processing project applications from their receipt to final payment
- assisting potential applicants, partnerships, and other organisations
to make the best use of the available funds by helping to develop and
deliver programmes in a way that will secure the maximum sustainable
- advising local partnerships on how to access the funding and any
support mechanisms that are available for putting applications together
- ensuring that appropriate publicity and information is available to
beneficiaries and the wider public about the way in which the funds are
contributing to improving the quality of life
Regional Competitiveness and Employment Programme
The Regional Competitiveness and Employment Programme applies to the whole
of England except Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, who come under the
Within the Competitiveness and Employment Programme, Merseyside and South
Yorkshire benefit from transitional (phasing in) funding as former
Objective 1 regions in 2000-2006 programme.
This new Programme is aimed at strengthening a region's competitiveness and
- promoting innovation and knowledge transfer
- stimulating enterprise and supporting successful business
- ensuring sustainable development, production and consumption
- building sustainable communities
The Convergence Programme aims to improve the conditions for growth and
development in the least-developed regions where the economy is still
lagging behind the rest of the European Union (EU). It will do this by:
- promoting innovation and knowledge transfer
- stimulating innovation and knowledge transfer
- improving accessibility and connectivity
In order to qualify for Convergence funding, a region must have a Gross
Domestic Product (GDP) below 75 per cent of the EU average. In England,
only Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have Convergence status.
For more information visit the European Social Fund website.
The European Fisheries Fund
The European Fisheries Fund (EFF) is the new fund for European Union
fisheries grants operating until December 2013. It replaces the Financial
Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG) grants. The EFF provides grants
for the sustainable development of the fisheries sector.
EFF is intended to help secure a sustainable and profitable fisheries
industry. It will grant financial support during the period 2007 to 2013,
with a view to help the industry adapt to changing circumstances.
The Managing Authority for FIFG is Defra. The programme is run by the
Marine Management Organisation.