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Up to £3.3m European Funding made available in the Solent

07 April 2015

The Government has launched the first round of applications for European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) in the Solent.

The Programme comprises three separate funds – the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) – all aiming to increase economic and social prosperity in the sub region, and to create a more competitive, prosperous and inclusive economy. The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) encourages local organisations to bid for this funding, which requires match funding and is profiled over a seven year period to 2020/21.

The first calls for projects are from the ERDF funding available and focus on two areas critical to delivering the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership's ESIF Strategy: Business Support for SMEs and Research and Innovation.

Promoting Research and Innovation

Up to £1.5m is being made available over a 3 year period to develop and deliver a single innovation strategy that enables enterprises to access the full range of expertise, facilities and support offered by Higher and Further Education establishments, as well as national centres of excellence. Funding will be available to support networking activity and provide a flexible innovation grants programme to support SMEs based in the Solent LEP area. Example activities to be supported with innovation grants include:

  • Proving the viability of a new concept;
  • The creation of prototypes;
  • Demonstrating the commercial viability of new methods.

Full guidance in relation to this call has now been posted here

Organisations seeking to respond to this call will need to submit their proposal by 27th May 2015.

Enhancing the Competitiveness of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises

Up to £1.8m is being made available to address shortfalls in support for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises based in the Solent LEP area and DCLG is seeking to support a project which will support the continuation of the Solent Business Growth Hub. This will include actions such as:

  • Provision of advice to develop new business models or higher quality products, processes or services; 
  • Advice and support for businesses to implement productivity improvements including through the provision of resource efficiency advice; 
  • Advice to improve business processes and workforce development; 
  • Advice and support for supply chain interventions to strengthen and grow the domestic supplier base; 
  • Provision of advice, consultancy support, mentoring, peer to peer support, and support for collaborative projects; and 
  • Provision of independent access to finance advice.

Full guidance in relation to this call has now been posted here

Organisations seeking to respond to this call will need to submit their proposal by 29th May 2015.

It is expected that further opportunities to apply for ESIF funding in the Solent, including opportunities available under both the European Social Fund (ESF) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) will be made available in Summer 2015.

All information in relation to funding opportunities available through European Structural and Investment Funds to 2020/21 will be available here