Local organisations have until 25 September 2015 to apply for a share of millions of pounds from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to deliver schemes across Worcestershire.
Organisations are being invited to propose projects in two separate pots of funding, the SME Competitiveness fund and Low Carbon Economy fund with a combined total of £4,450,000 available.
The SME Competitiveness fund provides the opportunity to receive a minimum amount of £500,000 in match funding from a total of £3,250,000. The SME Competitiveness fund is designed to fund schemes that will provide support to the competitiveness of small and medium sized enterprises by promoting entrepreneurship, supporting the creation and extension of advanced capacities for products, services and development and supporting the capacity to grow in regional, national and international markets. In particular, the Cyber industry is being encouraged to apply for funding and low carbon investment to aid the growth of small-medium sized businesses.
The Low Carbon Economy fund provides the opportunity to receive a minimum of £500,000 in match funding from a total of £1,200,000. The Low Carbon Economy Fund will support schemes which promote the shift towards a low carbon economy in all sectors including promoting the production and distribution of energy derived from renewable resources and the adoption of low carbon technologies.
The European Regional Development Fund is part of the 2014-20 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme (ESIF) which launched in March 2015. These two new rounds of funding will be open until 25 September 2015.
Gary Woodman, Executive Director of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), added: “The SME Competitiveness fund will enable our thriving local SMEs to expand and create jobs while also enhancing the business environment within the county. Meanwhile, the Low Carbon Economy Fund will help businesses in their production and distribution of energy derived from renewable sources within the county.
“These funds will therefore have a positive impact on both the local economy and environment. I would strongly encourage any relevant organisations to apply for this funding before the 25 September 2015 deadline so that they can deliver these schemes to benefit local businesses and visit www.wlep.co.uk for further updates.”
Chris Hallam, Chair of the ESIF Committee in Worcestershire, said: “The official launch today is great news as we are already starting to see the benefits that these funds can bring to local businesses and local people.
“Out of a total allocation of approximately £60m through the EU Programme, Worcestershire has just over £29m available through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). This is being used to promote innovation and develop the effective use of ICT, reduce carbon emissions and provide business support to enable and improve the competitiveness of SMEs in the county.
“I would encourage all Worcestershire organisations to keep themselves updated about future rounds of funding via the Worcestershire LEP’s website (www.wlep.co.uk), its e-newsletter or its Twitter account (@worcsLEP) as well as via the Gov.uk website.”
For more information on the funding available, contact Jo Jury by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 01905 768854. For further information on ESIF funding and application criteria visit the gov.uk website or a direct link is available on the Worcestershire LEP’s website at www.wlep.co.uk.