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European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) 2014-2020

European Union ESIF Logo

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF) are the main European Funds which make up the ESIF programme.

The programme provides funds to help local areas grow in a smart, sustainable and inclusive way. It aims to support the North East Strategic Economic Plan for the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (NELEP) area. The area is made up of 7 local authority areas, Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Sunderland.


The fund provides 50% (in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland) towards revenue or capital funding to support investment in innovation, businesses, low carbon and climate change projects and aims to create jobs in the region.

The North East's indicative allocation of ERDF is £227.3m and covers five key areas;

  • Research & Innovation
  • SME Competitiveness
  • Supporting a Shift Towards a Low Carbon Economy
  • Climate Change adaptation
  • Community led local development

In addition to the main fund, a separate fund has been created for Sustainable Urban Development to support the following key challenges;

  • Sustainable energy and sustainable transport
  • Sustainable infrastructure investments


ESF provides 50% towards revenue projects which offer training to the unemployed and employed.

The North East's indicative allocation of ESF is £200.4m. Within Tyne & Wear and Northumberland there are two priority axes

Priority Axis 1: Inclusive Labour Markets

Priority Axis 2: Skills for Growth

How do I apply?

Calls are issued on a regular basis by MHCLG and DWP and can be found on the GOV.UK website. Applicants must be a legally constituted body.

Application process

For open calls, applying is a 2 stage process, with an initial outline application assessing eligibility and value for money, followed by a more detailed full application. Applicants must source a minimum of 50% match funding. 

Support is available 

Support and guidance on preparing applications, and details on the process is available, see North East Technical Assistance Project


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  • Business Employment & Skills Service
  • Town Hall & Civic Offices
    Westoe Road
    South Shields
    Tyne & Wear
    United Kingdom
    NE33 2RL

  • 0191 481 3456

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