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Structural Funds

  1. What are the Structural Funds?
  2. What Structural Funds Programmes will be available in England for 2007-2013?
  3. How much is available from the Structural Funds in England?
  4. What will the priorities for these funds be?
  5. How will complementarity with the Rural Development Programme be assured?
  6. What progress has been made with the development of the Structural Funds programmes 2007-13?
1.  What are the Structural Funds?
  • The EU Structural Funds exist to help areas of Europe which, for one reason or another are suffering difficulties. This could be due to the decline of local industry or falls in income. The funds are intended to be used to help sponsor projects which will directly address locally identified needs.
  • The Structural Funds are managed in the UK by Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.
2.  What Structural Funds Programmes will be available in England for 2007-2013?
  • In England there will be:
  • European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government
  • European Social Fund (ESF) Programme, managed by the Department for Work and Pensions
  • European Fisheries Fund (EFF), managed by Defra
3. How much is available from the Structural Funds in England?
  • ERDF expenditure over 2007-2013 will amount to €3.82bn.
  • ESF programme expenditure will be €2.75 bn over the same period.
4.  What will the priorities for these funds be?
  • In England, the priorities for ERDF spending will be to promote innovation and knowledge transfer, stimulate enterprise and business development, improve accessibility and connectivity, and develop a skilled and adaptable workforce.
  • The priorities for ESF spending will be to tackle barriers to employment and improve the skills of the local workforce.
  • In addition, the EFF will provide grants for the sustainable development of the fisheries sector.
5.  How will complementarity with the Rural Development Programme be assured?
  • As Structural Funds can have significant impacts in rural areas there are potential overlaps between RDPE and the Structural Funds (ERDF, ESF and EFF).
  • Where there is potential overlap for a particular priority, Regional Implementation Plans will need to set out clearly where dividing lines (often referred to as “demarcation”) will be drawn between the funds, and where close complementarity can occur to prevent inappropriate gaps in what can be funded from appearing.
  • Please see Section E for further information on Regional Implementation Plans.
6. What progress has been made with the development of the Structural Funds programmes 2007-13?
  • For the ERDF, the Regional Development Agencies are required to develop individual Operating Programmes setting out their detailed spending intentions for the Funds from 2007-2013.  Further to discussions with the EU Commission, these Programmes have now all been adopted.
  • There are no requirements for regional Operating Programmes for EFF or ESF, which are single national-level schemes.  Work is now underway to develop an EFF Operational Programme, which will outline investment priorities.  This will be subject to consultation early in 2008.
  • The ESF programme for England has been approved and was launched on 30 October 2007.   Regional Skills Partnerships are now developing regional ESF frameworks for 2007-13, which will inform the delivery of the ESF programme.

 

Page last modified: 30 April, 2010
Page published: 21 July, 2005