The Marches region has been allocated approximately £95 million of EU funding for projects being developed and delivered between 2014 and 2020.
The Marches LEP has developed a European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) strategy which sets out priority areas where this funding should be directed. The European Regional Development Fund, European Social Fund and Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) form the total allocation and key areas which funded projects must support are:
- Research and Innovation
- SME Competitiveness
- Low Carbon Economy
- Employment and Skills
- Social Inclusion
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An ESIF committee has been appointed to oversee the programme and projects for an initial three year term. The committee will have a strategic role and be involved in prioritising investments.
It includes representatives from the business, education and skills, rural and voluntary and community sectors, the three local authorities and a representative from the LEP. Some of this funding is already available for business support, and details of these schemes can be found on the Marches Growth Hub.
The Marches LEP area supports prospective ERDF applicants through the Marches Technical Assistance project, which is part-funded by ERDF. Gary Spence (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Hannah Owen (email@example.com) work with colleagues in the three Marches local authorities to assist projects in developing ERDF applications and to ensure that ERDF and its investments is promoted within the area.
The Marches ESF Technical Assistance Officer for Employment and Skills is Stephanie Jones and she can be contacted on Stephanie.Jones@herefordshire.gov.uk.
The latest ESIF newsletter from the Marches can be found below: