Below are a list of frequently asked questions and answers regarding the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). If need more information, please do get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
This page will be continually updated as new information is released from government.
How long is the programme?
Can a project be comprised of 100% ERDF money?
Where can and can't match funding come from?
Which comes first, the ERDF contribution or the match?
Can I use ERDF to fund statutory activity?
Can ERDF be used to extend a project or activity?
How do I know what these aims are?
Details can also be found in the LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan (known as the SEP) here.
It advisable that both the ESIF Strategy and SEP are read prior to considering whether your project aligns with the requirements of the GCGP’s ERDF allocation in your chosen LEP area(s).
How big does my project have to be?
The current minimum project size is £1 million in value, i.e. a minimum of £500,000 of ERDF contribution if 50% grant is sought.
As an applicant, you need to be realistic about what you can achieve, how much match funding you have (or can secure) and what level of staff resource you have to successfully deliver a project. Whilst there is no maximum figure, very small projects are unlikely to be considered.
Please bear in mind that value for money will be a key factor in determining whether your project will secure funding. In short, the more you ask for, the more you will be expected to deliver.
Do I need to have partners?
Alternatively, and more conventionally, one member of a partnership can act as a lead partner on behalf of a partnership bid (and will be the accountable body for claims and investment, etc.). A partnership can help to share the administrative and delivery duties, especially if the project is a particularly large one.
Unlike Interreg or the Territorial Co-operation programmes, there is no requirement for partners to be drawn from other EU countries.
Who is eligible to apply?
It is more typical that individual businesses will benefit from a multi-partner/sector-based project. A business cannot apply to fund its own endeavours. ERDF eligibility rules can be downloaded from this web page.
Who makes the decisions regarding funding?
An evaluation report will then be sent to the local ESIF Committee who will comment on the strategic fit with the ESIF Strategy and SEP for their LEP area.
What are the principles behind ERDF investment?
In the GCGP LEP area, some investment will be made in projects that provide super and ultra-fast broadband services and contribute to greater digital connectivity.
What are the priorities for ERDF investment in the LEP areas?
Is this money capital or revenue?
What sort of activity will the programme support?
The four Priority Axes within the GCGP ESIF Strategy are:
- PA1 – Innovation
- PA2 – ICT
- PA3 – SME Competitiveness
- PA4 – Low Carbon Economy
The call document may be more specific regarding the activity required in response to a particular call.
- Number of enterprises receiving support or new enterprises supported;
- Employment increased in supported enterprises;
- Number of enterprises receiving grants or other financial support;
- Number of enterprises cooperating with research entities;
- Infrastructure site development including green infrastructure (ha);
- Private investment matching public support to enterprises;
- Estimated Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reductions;
- Additional capacity of renewable energy production;
- Number of companies supported with business resource efficiency.
The definitions and guidance can be found here.
Is it a quick process?
No, the call document will give the timetable for submission of the outline application which will include a very full description of the project together with full financial details. After the outline application is submitted it will firstly undergo a rigorous and extensive appraisal process to ensure it is technically compliant with the Operational Programme.
At this point it will be assessed by the ESIF Committee for local strategic fit and if the application also passes this stage then the applicant will be requested to submit a full application within a limited time frame.
A similar process will be undertaken for the full application and if this also gets the green light then the applicant will be requested to sign a funding agreement for the project.
From submitting the outline application to receiving a funding agreement could take in the order of nine months. It is important to bear this in mind when developing your application, securing match funding (especially if it is time limited) and planning the project delivery. This sounds daunting, but there is support available to help you with this process.
Once approved, do we then receive the money?
This means that money must be spent and claimed back from the ERDF programme, on a quarterly basis or potentially a monthly basis but ensure you can cash flow your project on a quarterly in arrears basis. As with the timescale for approval, it is important to bear this in mind when planning your project.
From whom do I claim the money back?
Can I claim back any money that I have spent prior to the project being approved that will inform the project?
What checks are carried out during the project that I need to be aware of?
Can an organisation profit from an ERDF project?
Who can explain the complexity in layman’s terms?
What calls have been issued to date?
Are there any special arrangements for projects that are planning to be active in more than one LEP area?
Can I claim for overheads on the project?
ERDF Facilitator Details: