There are over 450 European Union over 450 funding streams for a diverse range of subjects and cross-national projects. Many of these are not relevant to the Highland Council area however the most applicable funds are as detailed below.
The Structural Funds
European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and European Social Fund (ESF)
The Structural and Cohesion Funds are the European Union’s main instruments for supporting social and economic restructuring across the EU. They account for over one third of the European Union budget and are used to tackle regional disparities and support regional development through actions including developing infrastructure and telecommunications, developing human resources and supporting research and development.
The vision for ERDF spending in the Highlands and Islands will be to support the development of prosperous, inclusive and self-sustaining communities, where the unique cultures, traditions and environments are enhanced and the region makes a distinctive contribution to Scotland, the UK and the EU.
Priority 1: Enhancing business competitiveness, commercialisation and innovation
Priority 2: Enhancing key drivers of sustainable growth
Priority 3: Enhancing peripheral and fragile communities
Priority 4: Technical assistance
The vision of the ESF programme for the Highlands and Islands will be to contribute towards sustainable growth in the size and skills of the region’s workforce within the Lisbon jobs and growth framework. In support, there will be three main priority areas for ESF spending within the Convergence Programme:
Priority 1: Increasing the workforce
Priority 2: Investing in the workforce
Priority 3: Improving access to lifelong learning
The Highlands and Islands qualify for phasing out Convergence Funding of €174 million during the 2007-2013 Financial Perspective, because it has a GDP per capita above 75% of the EU 25 average but below 75% of the EU 15 average.
- ERDF Convergence Programme for the Highlands and Islands of Scotland - €122 million
- ESF Convergence Programme for the Highlands and Islands of Scotland - €52 million
Calls for projects
There will usually be one call for projects per year for projects with the opportunity for fast track applications for projects who face threats to their match funding or urgently need to start out with the timeframe of the normal call for projects. The 2009 call will start in the summer.
Up to 50%.
Highland Leader Programme And Convergence Fund
The Highland Leader Programme covers all of the Highland Council area, except for the settlement development area of Inverness and the part of the Highland Council area within the Cairngorms National Park. The aim of the Highland LEADER Programme is:
‘To enable people in the Highlands to realise their ambitions to live in communities where they can fulfil their personal, social and economic potential’
The main aims of the new fund are:
- Revitalising Communities
- Progressive Rural Economies
The Highland LEADER Programme is being delivered as part of the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP) and has eight key themes;
- Local Development Strategies
- Culture and Heritage
- Training and Learning Opportunities
- Access to Activities, Facilities and Services
- Land, Environment and Access to the Countryside
- Social Enterprise and Micro-Businesses
The Highland LEADER Programme 2007- 2013 has received an award of £14.26m (LEADER £6.76m and Convergence £7.5m) for the period 2007-2013. The funds will be amalgamated and run as a single programme across Highland.
Calls for Projects
Applications can be submitted at any time. Decisions are made at the regular Local Advisory Group meetings.
LEADER is not intended for major capital/revenue projects and will normally be targeted at small to medium sized projects. Grant rates between 40% and 45% will be available.
INTERREG IV 2006-2013 – Territorial Co-operation
The aim of this programme is to support European regions developing joint innovative solutions to common issues through co-operation and the exchange of best practice. Projects should generally have partners from at least two member states within the eligible areas. There are three distict categories of funding:
- Strand A – Cross-border Co-operation which will focus on resolving local problems along land borders and some designated maritime borders. The areas of Highland Region that are eligible to apply under the Cross-border Programme for Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland are: Lochaber; Skye and Lochalsh.
- Strand B – Transnational Co-operation which consists of geographical groupings of regions within the Programme area. Relevant Programmes to Highland are:
- The North Sea Programme – covers parts or all of the participating states of Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, the UK, the Flemish region of Belgium and Norway
- The Atlantic Area Programme – covers parts or all of the participating states of the UK, Ireland, France, Spain and Portugal.
- The Northern Periphery Programme – covers parts or all of the participating states of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Sweden, Finland and Norway.
- Strand C – Interregional Co-operation which supports exchanges of experience and best practice. There are no geographical barriers to participation as this is one programme for the whole EU. The programme is part of the EU initiative ‘Regions for Economic Change’.
Each sub-programme will have it’s own set of priorities
Calls for projects
Normally one call for projects from each programme, each year. However, some of these calls may be specific to a particular priority.
Highland/Scottish/UK projects normally expect to attract between 50% and 75% grant funding.
Other EU Funding Programmes
- LIFE +
- LIFE LONG LEARNING PROGRAMME 2007 - 2013
- CULTURE PROGRAMME 2007-2013
- EUROPE FOR CITIZENS PROGRAMME 2007-2013
- INTELLIGENT ENERGY EUROPE PROGRAMME
- 2010 YEAR OF COMBATING POVERTY AND SOCIAL INCLUSION
- PROGRESS PROGRAMME 2007 - 2013
- FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND JUSTICE PROGRAMME
- MEDIA PROGRAMME 2007-2013
- THE SEVENTH FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME (FP7)
- ECO-INNOVATION PROGRAMME
For further information, please contact: