Funding news

EU Structural Funds consultation - 28 March 2012

Views sought on how the Funds can be best put to use in England to support sustainable jobs, growth and management of the natural environment for 2014-20.

The Partnership Agreement, published this week by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and open for consultation until 27 April, will govern how four EU funds will be delivered between 2014-20.

For the 2007-13 period these Funds are worth approximately £13 billion to the UK – and specifically £8 billion for England. The current funding period will close at the end of 2013 and the next period will begin in 2014, subject to completion of negotiations on the EU budget. The NCVO estimates that about £430m of funding has gone to charities over three years from the European Social Fund.

Oli Henman, head of the EU and international team at the NCVO, said the delivery model proposed in the Partnership Agreement was likely to be more community-focused and locally-led, which would help charities’ chances when bidding for money.

"We hope this will also be much simpler to use and will allow volunteer time to be used as a source of match funding," he said.

Although the funds are likely to be worth significantly less in the next tranche, Henman said he hoped the changes would mean the amount channelled into the voluntary and community sector would increase.

The final results of this initial consultation will inform the development of the final UK Partnership Agreement relating to England. When the UK Partnership Agreement has been drafted, the UK Government will then open a formal 3 month consultation on the proposed content. This is likely to be in early 2013.

For more information and to take part, see the BIS website.

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