European Funding 2014-2020 ESIF

bThe European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) has been recently allocated 260 Million euros by the European Union to support various activities in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull region.


The ESIF Strategy

In February 2014, the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) published the European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) Strategy for 2014-2012, outlining how the resources are to be distributed. The strategy highlights six priorities and the actions associated with the distribution of the fund.

Priority 1: innovation and R&D – focused on the four key growth sectors of:

  • Life Sciences
  • Digital and Creative
  • Low Carbon
  • Advanced manufacturing

In addition to cross cutting approaches to drive the development of an innovation eco system and SME excellence.

Priority 2: stimulating business and enterprise – driving a coherent research and evidence-led approach to business advice, business start-ups and business support with a focus on the 15 key sectors chosen in the Strategy for Growth


Priority 3: low carbon communities – focussing activity on driving growth in the low carbon economy, through actions on energy efficiency and its economic impact on the supply chain, sustainable transport and resource efficiency

Priority 4: promoting employment and mobility – combined with the Youth Employment Initiative funding this has a real focus, especially in the early years of the strategy, on tackling youth unemployment.

Priority 5: promoting social inclusion and employability – tackling a range of deep rooted issues but with gender economic inactivity being key

Priority 6: skills for growth and entrepreneurship – a real focus through this and the other ESF priorities on supporting skills to match employers needs/priority sectors in the Draft SEP, the Strategy for Growth and the Skills Action Plan.


How it works

The funding will be available for organisations with match funding 50% public and 50% private for ERDF and for ESF match funding usually comes from public funding from co-financing organisations (50% ESF and 50% public match). The funds are usually bid for by large public sector organisations who then arrange for its use and ensure it reaches those who can benefit, such as businesses, individuals who need funding for their ideas that create growth, jobs and obtaining better skills. Applications by such organisations must be made to the respective managing authority as outlined hereafter:

-The ERDF is managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

-The ESF is managed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

-The YEI is also managed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

-The EAFRD is managed by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA).


Detailed information available here

Currently open calls for proposals:

Call to run a Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) project providing access to employment in Birmingham and Solihull – open until 22 May 2015

Call to run a project providing support to small and medium sized enterprises and promoting entrepreneurship in Greater Birmingham and Solihull – open until 29 May 2015

Call to run a project providing support for research and innovation in Greater Birmingham and Solihull – open until 27 May 2015

Call for project proposals supporting a shift towards a low carbon economy in Greater Birmingham and Solihull – open until 20 May 2015


For further information please email:


Once the programme is fully up and running there will be more publicity on access routes.