ERDF: North West Operational Programme
In the North West, the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) is responsible
for managing the current NW ERDF Programme which has been allocated €755 million
(approximately £684m) from the European Commission to spend between 2007 and
2013, €307 million has been allocated to Merseyside, with €448 million
allocated for the rest of the North West.
Known as the North West Operational Programme (NWOP), the ERDF Programme has five
Priorities containing 11 Action Areas – each supported by a more detailed
Investment Framework which identifies the type of activity that can be
supported. The Programme is focused on supporting and enhancing the
competitiveness of the region, with a secondary focus on the creation of the
right conditions for growth.
The HE sector's main focus within the NWOP is within Priority 1: “Stimulating
Enterprise and Supporting Growth in Target Sectors & Markets” and Priority 2:
“Exploiting Innovation and Knowledge”.
ESF: ESF 2007-13
The European Social Fund (ESF) was set up to improve employment opportunities in
the European Union and so help raise standards of living by helping people
fulfil their potential by giving them better skills and better job prospects.
ESF has been a key part of the EU's Lisbon Strategy for growth and jobs;
it supports the EU's goal of increasing employment by giving unemployed and
disadvantaged people the training, skills and support they and businesses need
in a competitive global economy. ESF also contributes to policies to reduce
inequality and build a fairer society.
The North West has been allocated around €1.058bn (approx. £959.1m) for
the 2007-2013 European ‘Competitiveness and Employment’ Programme, split between
Merseyside (£368m) and the Rest of the NW (£591m).