European Funding in Cheshire and Warrington
The Government position is that all European Structural and Investment Funds projects signed, or with funding agreements that were in place before the Autumn Statement 2016, will be fully funded, even when these projects continue beyond the UK’s departure from the EU.
For projects signed after the Autumn Statement 2016 and which continue after we have left the EU, funding will be honoured by the Treasury if they provide strong value for money and are in line with domestic priorities. Leaving the EU means the UK Government will want to take its own decisions about how to deliver the policy objectives previously targeted by EU funding.
The Government will consult stakeholders to review all EU funding schemes in the round, to ensure any ongoing funding commitments best serve the UK’s national interest.
Network For Europe
European Update for Cheshire and Warrington Voluntary, Community, and Social Enterprise Sector
30th September 2021
- Replacements for ESF
- Community Renewal Fund still waiting
- Community Ownership Fund second round
- UK-Shared Prosperity Fund - what next?
Reshuffle, new name
As a result of the reshuffle last week, Robert is no longer Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government. and is replaced by Michael Gove. It is thought that this will mean a temporary halt to activities around the replacements for ESF, but then perhaps a faster and more approach.
Andy Haldane ( of England Chief Economist) has been seconded to be head of a new Levelling Up taskforce for six months.
And MHCLG has been renamed MLUHC (Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government becomes Ministry for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities).
Flexibility for existing projects Q&A page
ESIF Coronavirus Response Page is useful for those running projects, with updated Q&A for the three funds. The ESF Q&A was updated on 21st September (questions 3, 12, 16, 17 and 24 have been closed, due to recent covid changes). All projects still to be completed by 2023.
Community Renewal Fund.
Originally called Pilot for the UK-Shared Prosperity Fund. This is £220m of short term ESF-style funding to test ideas for the UK-SPF. Due to finish March 2022, but not yet started. Winning bids were expected to be announced from late July, but we are not aware that any have yet been announced. It would seem that appraisals have finally been completed, but we are waiting for the Minister to “moderate” the results.
It could be that because the results are so late, projects might be able to run beyond the end date of March 2022. this might in turn delay the the UK-Shared Prosperity Fund?
Community Ownership Fund
The first round was a rush. Announced 15th July, deadline 13th August, we are told result are expected .
Seven more rounds due, with revised guidance “in the autumn”, next rounds in December and May.
UK Shared Prosperity Fund
This replaces previous European Funding, will come to £1.5bn a year, and should start April 2022. Very little information has been revealed, and the promised open consultation has been scrapped. We are still hoping for proper partnership involvement, so that together we can deliver an effective and efficient fund at local level through local authorities, local third sector and others. North West Third Sector met in August and September to share information, and discuss how it could work.
Early end to local involvement proposed
The National Performance sub-group met on 9th September, and had a short notice paper (on the 8th) proposing the local ESIF committees be scrapped, as they were no longer useful. Almost all the Partners present objected, explaining that the ESF would spend until the end of 2023, that local understanding of delivery and strategy was important, and that Management Information will be important as we move towards a replacement . The paper was binned, and an emergency meeting will be called in early October.
Visits to restart
The National Performance sub-group reported that ESF appraisals should all be completed by about the end of October, and that visits would resume in the last quarter of 2021.
Payments for ESF and ERDF in England are made quarterly in arrears, after a variety of checks have been made. A recent email has asked ERDF if they would prefer payment delays. (Once every six months), as this would reduce the workload of Government Staff.
The Spending Review and Budget will now be on 27th October. This may (or may not) give more information about the replacements for European Funding.
The Levelling Up White Paper has been further delayed, and now might appear in November (or perhaps later).
Levelling up reports
Understanding People, Understanding Places - an interesting study from the Salvation Army, looking at issues which are relevant to Levelling Up.
A report from the Institute for Government about Levelling Up.
European Week of Regions and Cities 2021
This annual event will be held 11th to 14th October, and is available on-line. by the European Commission (DG REGIO) and the Committee of the Regions, it is a useful way to catch up with and discuss issues affecting us all across the continent.
Previous Network For Europe Cheshire and Warrington Updates
Microsoft Word Docs
Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership
Investment Programmes: www.871candwep.co.uk/investment-programmes
Follow the link below to view Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership, European Structural and Investment Funds Strategy for 2014 to 2020.
Also read up on the European Social Fund (ESF) investments in the area and the application process HERE.
European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF): useful resources - case study booklets
The European Structural and Investment Funds resources website includes details of beneficiaries, publicity materials, regulations and a glossary for organisations running European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund projects.
Case study booklets for the European Social Fund (ESF) and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) 2014 to 2020 have recently been published.
For more information see the European Structural and Investment Funds programme for 2014 to 2020 in England guidance webpage.