The European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) is the European Union's main funding programme for supporting growth and jobs. The Swindon & Wiltshire LEP's ESIF programme invests in projects to help businesses compete and grow, and improve people's skills and employment prospects.
Our ESIF strategy was developed following an extensive consultation by over 150 partners during 2013-14.
The strategy’s four investment themes set out how £78 million is being invested to create over 250 jobs, help 1,500 businesses to innovate, compete and grow, and support over 18,000 people to progress in their career.
Our SME Growth theme has funded three levels of support for SME’s - for start-up and grow, for Export4Growth and for Manufacturing - and £3.9m of rural funding is available to farmers and businesses for tourism, business development and food and drink processing projects.
With focus on the strengths of innovative local business sectors, the £8m Porton life sciences incubator is one part of an emerging innovation infrastructure in the area, with SMEs supported by the dedicated innovate2succeed project and further investments planned for digital industries in the latter part of the programme. A further £5m will be invested in a shift to a low carbon economy.
Under the Skills for Growth theme, there is help for businesses to develop skilled workforces and also routes and into employment for younger skilled workers to support the longer-term sustained growth of the local economy.
Our Skills for Inclusion has a range of bespoke projects helping people overcome barriers to employment, to enter and stay in the workforce. Projects promote social inclusion and help older people who wish to remain in the workforce, as well as more general employability support for jobseekers, unemployed and inactive people.
The local ESIF sub-Committee in conjunction with Government agrees the calls for projects. Each is publicised locally, but full information is only on the government’s ESIF website.
Please come back to our News pages and check Twitter for ESIF information – or contact the local coordinator.