The 2014-2020 EU budget brings a new raft of opportunities for investment across the North East. The funds range from dedicated regional allocations through the European Structural Investment Funds (ESIF) and JEREMIE worth around £725 million, to wider EU Programmes such as INTERREG, Horizon 2020 and Creative Europe, which can be accessed directly via the European Commission.
The range and diversity of funds open to the North East present opportunities for many different organisations in the region including local authorities, regional businesses and Universities, the voluntary and community sectors. We are all operating within a tough economic climate, with dramatically reduced public funding, so it is more important than ever that regional partners pro-actively capitalise on the significant diversity of funding and partnership opportunities available to them through EU programmes.
There are lots of reasons we believe the EU is good for the North East – one of the most important being the fact that it invests in our region and supports job creation and growth. The North East is a net beneficiary of EU funding – we get more back than we pay in - and has received billions of pounds of investment over the decades from the EU. There are a lot of projects that rely on EU funding including the Hartlepool Growth Hub, the Teesside Advanced Manufacturing Park, the Consett Business Park, the Vaux site redevelopment in Sunderland, the Core Building at Science Central in Newcastle and Northumberland Rural Growth Network.
The North East has benefitted from working with other regions across the EU towards common objectives such as the development of low-carbon vehicles which increased the profile of regional expertise. There are a wide range of Transnational Programmes worth over €452 billion, all of which are open to any organisation in the region, and enables access to intelligence and valuable contacts across the EU.
The process of researching, making an informed decision about which EU fund could support your project delivery and organisations ambitions, finding appropriate partners and submitting a high quality application is a significant task. However, it is important that organisations across the region continue to benefit from the funding available to deliver the competitiveness of SMEs, research and innovation expertise, social inclusion and skills so vital to the future of the North East.
We hope that this funding guide, developed by our office, will help you to understand the many opportunities available to your organisation which are grouped within different thematic areas, highlighting past successful project case-studies, and signposting you to the most relevant sources of help and advice through the links and key contacts listed throughout the document.
Our office will continue to keep up to date with the progress of the EU Funding Programmes, and closely monitor their progress to ensure that they are delivered by the UK Government in a way that best serves the interests of the North East.