Sheffield City Region calls for EU project bids

Published 27th March 2015 at 2:38pm

Businesses and communities across Sheffield City Region are set to benefit from a £180 million EU funding programme aimed at enhancing economic growth, creating high quality jobs and boosting skills training in the area.

Government is now calling for applications to the European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF). The first wave of calls to bidders in the Sheffield City Region will focus on business support, innovation and supporting inward investment through development on the Enterprise Zone.

The Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Combined Authority have played a lead role in developing the strategy for how ESIF funds should be spent locally. The funding will be used to support local economic priorities which were set out in Sheffield City Region Growth Plan. In July last year the Sheffield City Region secured £320 million from Government to deliver some parts of the plan, and this EU funding will provide additional funding to help take the plan forward.

James Newman, Chairman of the Sheffield City Region LEP, said: “The Sheffield City Region’s programme for EU funding has been designed by the LEP and local partners to ensure that our economy gets the biggest boost possible from this investment. The Sheffield City Region programme closely aligns to our Growth Plan, which sets out our vision to transform our economic future. At the heart of our vision is the creation of 70,000 new private sector jobs and 6,000 new businesses over the next decade. Local leaders are keen to make sure that as many local organisations and partners as possible are aware of these funding opportunities so we can generate as many high quality bids as possible from our City Region.”

Councillor Lewis Rose OBE, LEP and Combined Authority Board Member, Leader of Derbyshire Dales District Council and Chair of the Sheffield City Region Rural Advisory Board, said: “Local leaders have worked closely with partners and government to make sure that our ESIF plans will maximise business growth and skills development across the entire City Region. We recognise the importance of making sure that our funding reaches businesses and communities in rural and urban areas across diverse range of sectors. It is also important that our funding is spent exclusively on high quality initiatives that will grow our economy, which is why this funding can only be used to match fund projects.”

Deborah Egan, LEP Board Member, Director of Welcome to Yorkshire and Chair of the Social Inclusion Advisory Board, said: “The projects this money will fund will not only boost the economy, but have a very important role in promoting social inclusion and combating poverty. Our funding strategy includes the pro-active development of social enterprise and social entrepreneurialism. The Sheffield City Region Social Inclusion Board has worked closely with local partners and government to ensure our projects target barriers to employment including financial constraints, digital barriers and skills training.”

Government is also calling for applications for Technical Assistance funding to support with the development of projects, capacity building and publicity activities relating to ESIF bids in Sheffield City Region and across England. The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) will publish calls to the following webpage: https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding

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