Regeneration and economic growth

European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

ERDF logoThe Department manages the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in England. This fund is focused on reducing economic disparities within and between member states by supporting economic regeneration and safeguarding jobs. Funding is targeted to meet three overarching objectives:

  • Convergence
  • Regional Competitiveness
  • European Territorial Co-operation.

Since 2000, England has benefited from more than €5bn of funding, with a further €3.2 billion being invested between 2007 and 2013 in local projects around the country. These programmes are designed to meet current needs by targeting employment, small and medium-sized enterprises, innovation, high-tech business investment, among other key priorities identified by local partners.


The European Regional Development Fund has helped a wide variety of projects - from large scale public works to small local initiatives. All are designed to benefit regional or local economies. Grants go to projects that would not have taken place without it. This includes notable projects such as The Eden Project in Cornwall (£12.8 million), King's Dock redevelopment in Liverpool (£48 million) and the East Midlands Media Investment Fund (£6 million).

European Regional Development Fund-aided projects have:

  • supported local communities in developing economic strategies and aided local initiatives to promote economic development
  • improved local environments to make areas more attractive to business and visitors and encouraged tourism by improving or developing attractions and providing facilities for tourists
  • encouraged industrial development and provided workplaces by reclaiming land, refurbishing buildings and providing services to open up sites (1,705,069 square metres of premises provided)
  • improved public transport access as well as road, rail and inland waterway networks, to support business and tourism
  • encouraged and facilitated the setting up and growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (over 207,662 enterprises assisted and more than 300,000 jobs created).

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