Government publishes European funds guidance for #LEPs

Government publishes European funds guidance

BIS has published a guidance for Local Enterprise Partnerships on how they should set priorities for the next round of EU funds.

In April 2013 the Government issued preliminary guidance to LEPs on how to develop their EU Structural and Investment Fund Strategies. Thissupplementary guidance sets out the information that should be included in the strategies and the criteria that will be used by Government to evaluate them.

The Local Enterprise Partnerships are asked to send their first draft of European Strategic and Investment plans by Monday 07 October 2013. The plans will be finalised by July 2014.

Download the guidance here (pdf 1,164KB)

Read more in our press release below (19 July 2013).

NCVO – European funds guidance is good news for charity sector


NCVO has welcomed today’s release of the Government’s supplementary guidance for Local Enterprise Partnerships, the 39 local bodies which will determine how key European funds are spent in England in the next European funding round, which runs from 2014-2020 (1).

The guidance sets out how LEPs should set priorities for their allocation of the EU Structural and Investment Funds, and reflects a number of calls from NCVO and its European Funding Network.

Key wins for the sector include:

–              Confirmation that at least 20% of the European Social Fund (ESF) must be directed to ‘social inclusion’ work, much of which could be delivered by the voluntary sector. This is a significant increase from the level of ESF funding which has reached such projects under the current funding round (2). This means around £1bn will become available for social inclusion work from 2014-2020 – £500m from the fund, matched by an additional £500m of other funding. Investments in social inclusion work are likely to be in areas such as education, training and employability.

–              The news that Big Lottery Fund has proposed to offer the necessary match funding for local social inclusion projects (3).

–              News that volunteers’ time can now be considered as an investment for the purposes of matching European funds.

–              The opportunity for social investment to be considered for matching European funds.

–              A requirement that LEPs involve the local voluntary sector in setting their priorities for how European funds are spent in their areas

–              Aside from the ESF, the other major fund, the European Regional Development Fund, may also provide opportunities for the sector. This money is intended for investment in sustainable capital development, and could be used for example to develop low-carbon retro-fitting of community buildings and social innovation start-ups.

Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO, said:

‘These are major and meaningful wins for the voluntary sector, which holds much of the expertise in promoting social inclusion. The result of today’s announcements will be more European money reaching charities and the people we work with.

‘I am pleased to see that both the government and the Big Lottery Fund have responded to our calls to explore how to make match funding easier for charities and social enterprises. I hope this will be a significant step forward in helping these funds reach the voluntary sector.

‘Charities make an important contribution to the economy and economic recovery, for example in supporting people to develop their skills. LEPs now have a significant opportunity to unleash this power of the voluntary sector in promoting economic recovery and I look forward to working with them and our local partners to help them make the most of this.’


1)       The guidance will be published online shortly on the BIS website

2)       Based on research by TSEN, now part of NCVO, into the use of ESF in the current round of funds (2007-2013)

3)      European Structural and Investment Fund money must be matched by a domestic funder – this can be local or national government; private sector or voluntary sector – in order to become available.

For more information, please contact Oli Henman, Head of EU & International, Direct line: 020 7520 2550


LEP allocations for ERDF and ESF 2014 to 2020 published 27.6.2013


LEP Allocation €m
Black Country 177.4
Buckinghamshire Thames Valley 13.9
Cheshire and Warrington 142.2
Coast to Capital 67.3
Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly 592.9
Coventry and Warwickshire 136.0
Cumbria 91.4
Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire 249.7
Dorset 47.3
Enterprise M3 45.7
Gloucestershire 38.3
Greater Birmingham and Solihull 255.8
Greater Cambridge & Greater Peterborough 75.5
Greater Lincolnshire 133.5
Greater Manchester 415.6
Heart of the South West 118.3
Hertfordshire 69.5
Humber 102.4
Lancashire 266.3
Leeds City Region 391.2
Leicester and Leicestershire 126.3
Liverpool City Region 221.9
London 748.6
New Anglia 94.5
North Eastern 539.6
Northamptonshire 55.0
Oxfordshire LEP 19.4
Sheffield City Region 203.4
Solent 43.1
South East 185.9
South East Midlands 88.3
Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire 161.6
Swindon and Wiltshire 43.6
Tees Valley 202.6
Thames Valley Berkshire 28.7
The Marches 113.7
West of England 68.6
Worcestershire 68.1
York and North Yorkshire 97.5