Cornwall and Isles of Scilly EU Growth Programme Launches

LocalPartnershipFundThe first phase of the new Cornwall and Isles of Scilly EU Growth Programme is now open for business. It will run until 2020 and is worth around 600 million euros.

There is a Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Programme website that will be regularly updated with the latest information.

The money comes from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).

It will be invested in line with the priorities set out in the LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan along the themes of Future Economy, Growth for Business and Conditions for Growth.

The Government has started publishing a series of ‘calls’ for EU-funded projects. Many of these are tenders to provide things like business support and skills activity, so some of these projects will not be up and running until later this year. Once they are, eligible businesses will be able to apply directly for support.

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) has a pot of €452.8m, which will support smart, sustainable, inclusive economic growth across the region. Investments into the following will be prioritised: increased levels of research and innovation to exploit new market opportunities and drive the commercialisation of new products and services; to address the issues of climate change and supporting energy sustainability; increase access to finance for small and medium sized enterprises to enable investment to drive growth; provide a suite of business support products, including a single point of access to simplify the business support landscape; address underlying infrastructure issues, including transport and digital.

The EAFRD programme has £9.4 million to invest in agricultural and rural businesses. Details of this programme are still being finalised (expected in September) but planned activity to be funded includes agri-tech research; renewables and energy storage, food enterprise zone supply chain development; investment grants for business (ranging from £35k to £500k); rural and farm tourism and broadband.

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