Britain receives funding from numerous EU programmes. The largest of these is the European Social Investment Fund (ESIF), which is dominated by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF). The North West received an allocation of £380 million (excluding Merseyside) between 2007-2013 from the ESIF, and has been allocated £356 million for 2014-2020. Some details of how this money is spent are laid out below. It is also important to note that Britain would not necessarily lose access to these funds outside the EU, as the ESIF is available to EEA/EFTA members. For more information on this see the answer to the question "If we exit would the UK lose EU funding?' in the Q+A section.
2007-2013 ESIF North West Targets
Example ERDF Projects from 2007-2013 programme
St Petersfield Enterprise Centre Tameside College ERDF - £663,137 This facility provides the College with an enterprise and incubation centre which will support budding entrepreneurs in the Tameside area. The philosophy is to provide a hub where business people can develop their ideas and connect with each other. The building covers three floors and provides an enterprise laboratory, incubation space and a café with an outdoor seating area.
MEC MediaCity UK Salford CC ERDF - £6,852,016 The Media Enterprise Centre (MEC) was created to help stimulate and support the growth of the media sector in GM. Located in the heart of MediaCity UK the centre provides businesses and individuals with access to flexible office space and specialist facilities and sector specialist advice.
The Sharp Project New East Manchester Limited ERDF - £2,987,556 The Sharp Project is based in a 200,000 sq ft refurbished warehouse previously occupied by electronics company Sharp. It offers flexible office, production and event space. The Sharp Project is home to over 60 digital entrepreneurs and production companies specialising in digital content production, digital media and TV and film production.
NW Construction Knowledge Hub University of Salford £2,055,518 This project ran from April 2009 to March 2012 and helped over 160 Construction SMEs to be even more efficient and successful. Key outputs were: 167 SMEs assisted, 47 new jobs created, and 231 jobs that were at risk and safeguarded by the project.
Stockport Business Incubator Stockport MBC ERDF - £400,000 SBIC is designed to bridge the gap for young businesses as they make the transition from fledgling companies to larger employers, with affordable rates and access to business support to provide guidance and advice as and when required. For those businesses not yet ready for dedicated office space, SBIC offers both shared space and virtual solutions.
University of Salford Energy Hub University of Salford ERDF - £1,541,346 The Salford Energy Hub project is a large-scale ERDF project looking at supporting businesses in the in the environmental sector. This includes supporting product testing in facilities such as the Energy House and our UKAS accredited thermal labs. A unique testing asset, the Energy House is the only full-scale building in an environmental chamber in Europe, and the only full-scale brick-built test facility in a controlled environment in the world. The Energy House has been designed and developed to allow leading academics and researchers to conduct scientific research, to improve the energy efficiency of hard to treat properties, in collaboration with industry. This includes the development and testing of new materials, systems and products as well as looking at behaviour change associated with the adoption of energy efficiency measures in the home.
Knowledge Action Network Manchester Metropolitan University ERDF - £1,251,376 The Knowledge Action Network is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, and has been designed to help businesses, from sole traders to those medium-sized, to uncover and address their business challenges.
National Graphene Institute University of Manchester ERDF - £23,002,348 The £61m National Graphene Institute (NGI) is the national centre for graphene research in the UK, drawing in specialists from across the globe. It houses state-of-the-art cleanrooms, plus laser, optical, metrology and chemical labs and equipment - the ideal environment for world-class graphene research.
Manchester Central Manchester Central ERDF - £3,778,995 Manchester Central underwent a three-year £30 million redevelopment which finished in 2012. This was partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Manchester Central boasts a wide spectrum of flexible halls and conference suites with space for exhibitions ranging from 1,800sqm to over 21,000 sqm, accommodation for up to 9,000 theatre style as well as state-of-the-art meeting facilities for 40 to 4,000, including a professional and luxurious 804-seat auditorium.
Manchester Victoria Interchange Transport for GM ERDF - £4,950,177 The project created new and expanded Metrolink facilities within Manchester Victoria Interchange. The Metrolink scheme, in conjunction with the wider station scheme, will unlock adjacent development sites and enable services to operate towards the city on both the current and future city centre routes, locking-in reliability, improving connectivity and quality; all of which supports increased use of sustainable transport, economic growth and reduces carbon.
Oldham Road Public Realm Rochdale Development Agency ERDF - £148,452 This ERDF-funded project involved implementing improvements to land alongside Rochdale’s Oldham Road, which is an important economic corridor which links Rochdale’s town centre with a business park. Two overgrown and untidy areas, which were previously prone to fly-tipping, were landscaped with new paths, shrubs and trees and public seating was installed. At a third site close to a railway bridge, new paving was laid, renovation work was carried out to railings and new street lighting was installed. The project complements a wider regeneration strategy along the Oldham Road, which includes the development of new housing and employment development sites, in an area which has historically suffered from high levels of deprivation.
Armstrong Point, Swan Lane (Hindley) Armstrong Properties(NW) Ltd ERDF - £846,225 Armstrong point is the region’s first zero-energy business park. As part of the ERDF grant for the development of Armstrong Point, the landlord is able to offer free business assistance to help tenants locating to the site with their energy and waste costs. This support could include the creation of specific environmental and sustainability policies to improve and expand the business of Armstrong Point tenants.
Museum of Science and Industry MOSI ERDF - £2,000,000 MOSI received a £2m ERDF grant to complete the funding package for the £7m first phase of a redevelopment programme. The refurbishment of the main building has provided greatly improved visitor entrance, orientation and gallery facilities.