EU Structural and Investment Fund Strategy 2014-2020

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly from LEP on Vimeo.

Where we are as of April 2014:

The EU SIF strategy was submitted Government on 31 January 2014

Formal feedback was received by the LEP at the end of March 2014 and the C&IoS LEP is in the process of clarifying areas of the Strategy where further work is required leading to a final European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) Strategy in place by June 2014

The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Strategy will then join the other ESIF Strategies from the 39 LEPs from across the country. Together they will then form Operational Programmes for the different European funds that will act as the formal agreement with the European Commission on the funding priorities for the 2014-2020 programmes

Next Steps for Programme agreement and project development:

We are currently involved in a process with Government of designing the new Operational Programmes for the European funds from 2014-2020

At this stage we are anticipating that the Operational Programme might be agreed between Her Majesty's Government (HMG) and the European Commission in Autumn 2014, however this will be dependent upon EU-HMG negotiations

Until Operational Programmes are approved by HMG and the EC it is not possible to 'approve' any LEP EU SIF Strategy or equally for any investments to be formally approved by the programme

It is fair to assume that it will be early 2015 before any investments are contracted and delivery commences - assuming there are no further delays during negotiations

In order to reduce the impact of this delay, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP are committing resource to the early development of investments and frameworks to support future project development which is due to take place once the EU Structural and Investment Fund Strategy is approved by HMG in June. Taking into account finite resources for project development, those projects that feature in the ESIF Strategy and those major projects that have barriers that could result in a long lead in time are the focus of the LEP's project development activity at present

The ESIF Strategy prepared by the LEP is due to be informally endorsed by HMG to allow projects to be developed before agreement of Operational Programmes. This will ensure that when HMG open the programme, we will have investments ready to take forward to ensure that there is as little gap as possible in support to business. It is important to remember that until the new programmes open and a partnership committee agrees investment decisions that there is no guarantee that any project will be funded.

What does this mean for me?:

It is important to remember that a number of the business support projects funded by the 2007-2013 Convergence programme run until March 2015. In addition to the current Convergence provision there are also other business support packages available, therefore, there is still support available for businesses in this interim period between programmes. More detail on these can be found here:

For those stakeholders that are interested in accessing the funding from the future programme it is essential that the draft LEP ESIF strategy is read: This will help identify if potential project ideas have a strategic fit. Further information on project pipeline development will be communicated once it is available 

Update 3 February 2014

The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP submitted its final EU Structural and Investment Fund Strategy to UK Government on 31 January 2014.

EU Structural and Investment Fund (5 MB)

Update 9 October 2013

Following extensive research and consultation over the last six months the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP have submitted our Draft EU Structural and Investment Fund (SIF) Strategy to UK Government for consideration.

Draft EU Structural and Investment Fund Strategy - summary version (PDF 5MB)

Draft EU Structural and Investment Fund Strategy - full version (PDF 15MB)

Government are planning to assess all 39 LEP EU SIF Strategies over the next four weeks and we expect to get feedback by mid November. It will then go to the EU as part of the National Government negotiations.

Businesses and communities in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have played a key role in shaping our strategy and we will keep you posted on developments ahead of the start of the 2014-2020 EU Programme next year. On behalf of the LEP we would like to say a very big thank you to all those who have played their part in developing this work. We have tried to reflect as many of your views as possible while ensuring that priorities are based on sound evidence and reflect EU policy.

In the meantime we will continue to develop the detail of the strategy further and turn our proposed investment areas into detailed plans.

If you have any questions or queries about this strategy please contact us

Update 11 September 2013

Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly LEP ran a consultation process from 17 May to 19 July on the proposals and priorities for their emerging EU Structural and Investment Fund Strategy. The consultation consisted of an online public consultation and a series of telephone interviews with key stakeholders and partners. The summary of the consultation responses can be found here and a response from the LEP to the key findings of the consultation here.

Communities and businesses across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have responded to our consultation on the shape of the next EU programme and we have tried to listen to the key points in formulating our strategy. Work is still underway on formulating our plans ahead of the 7 October deadline to submit our initial thinking to government. However, the consultation summary for our strategy is available here.  The deadline for this phase of the consultation was 23 September 2013.

Update 3 September 2013

Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly LEP ran a consultation process from 17 May to 19 July on the proposals and priorities for their emerging EU Structural and Investment Fund Strategy. The consultation consisted of an online public consultation and a series of telephone interviews with key stakeholders and partners.  

Background

In April 2013, Ministers wrote to Local Enterprise Partnerships to confirm that most but not all of the 6.2bn Euros of EU Structural and Investment Funds (SIF) available to the UK for 2014-2020 will be allocated to LEPs to invest in local growth strategies.

The money is drawn from:

  • European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
  • European Social Fund (ESF)
  • A small part will come from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD)

In addition, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly will have access to funding from:

  • European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD)
  • European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF)

We will aspire to align these national programmes closely with the other EU funds at a local level.

The timeframe

LEPs will be allocated the funds for the period 2014-2020, subject to a review in 2017, and are required to set out how they would like to use the funds within an Investment Strategy.

Guidance received to date suggests that LEPs will be locally responsible for:

  • deciding which projects to support
  • helping to identify match funding
  • overseeing arrangements for selecting projects or for using co-financing Organisations to procure ESF provision in discussion with Managing Authorities
  • delivering the milestones and results agreed in the Investment Strategy, including making sure that enough money is spent each year to meet annual spend targets;
  • involving local partners across the spectrum.
Process

In order to develop the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly SIF Strategy, the LEP agreed to establish five working groups led by Board Directors tasked with developing proposals to respond to the requests in the Government's guidance covering the following areas:

LEP Priority 1. Business Competitiveness and Growth

LEP Priority 2.  Employment and Labour mobility

LEP Priority 3.  Knowledge, Research and Innovation

LEP Priority 4.  Natural Environment

Programme Governance

Further information on the structure of the sub groups can be found here

May submission

The Government guidance requested that by the end of May, LEPs:

  • Indicate their main investment priorities (not projects), taking into account, but not driven by, the main EU thematic priorities
  • Give their views on the use of Financial Instruments (venture capital, loan funds)
  • Indicate whether the Growth Programme model offers sufficient freedoms and flexibilities in the delivery of local growth

The four priority working groups have used the existing LEP strategy aligning it with the 11 EU objectives to indicate the main investment priorities for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly from 2014-2020. Please click here to view the response.

Consultation survey

EU regulations require that Structural and Investment Fund programmes are prepared, implemented and monitored collaboratively with delivery partners. The guidance states that Local Enterprise Partnerships will need to develop their strategies with a broad range of economic, social and environmental organisations such as businesses (including social enterprises and mutuals), rural interests and networks, trade unions, local authorities, civil society interests and networks, equality and non-discrimination bodies, Jobcentre Plus and universities and further education institutes. In order to fulfil this responsibility at an early stage in the development of the SIF Strategy, an online consultation took place between 17 May and 30 June to consult on the priorities identified and indentify any gaps.  This work has been analysed and the summary report can be found here and the response from the LEP here.