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European Funding, LEPs and the 3rd Sector

What is European Funding?

European funding programmes provide financial support to public and private organisations, and in rare cases to individuals in the form of grants in order to help them implement projects or activities that further the EU policies, programmes and interests.

The 2014-20 programme brings together ESF (Employment and skills), ERDF (Innovation, ICT, SME competitiveness and low carbon) and EAFRD (Rural development) funding streams through the single European Structural and Investment Programme.

 

What are Local Enterprise Partnerships and what is their role?

Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) are locally owned partnerships between the public sector (local authorities) and the private sector (businesses). LEPs have been given responsibility for designing local investment strategies for the delivery of European funding through the 2014-120 programme.

The Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (GLLEP) covers the County of Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire. Greater Lincolnshire LEP Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) sets out the priorities for growth in Greater Lincolnshire.

A local European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) committee has been established to take a strategic oversight of local investments. This committee contains a community and voluntary sector representative.


What is Involving Lincs?

Involving Lincs is the 3rd Sector Infrastructure Consortium that works to support and develop community, voluntary and social enterprise groups that make up the Third Sector in Lincolnshire. Involving Lincs has taken the lead in bringing together community and voluntary sector partners to develop a co-ordinated response to show how the sector can support with the delivery of LEP and EU priorities.

What is the 3rd Sector & Social Inclusion Strategy?

The 3rd Sector and Social Inclusion strategy has been produced through Involving Lincs with the following purpose:

• To demonstrate how the 3rd sector contributes to the economy of Greater Lincolnshire.
• To identify challenges and barriers faced by the sector and local stakeholders.
• To increase confidence in the sector to work together in a cohesive manor to deliver stronger outcomes for Greater Lincolnshire.
• To Identify how the sector can deliver on the social inclusion agenda and how it cuts across other priorities within the Strategic Economic Plan.

The strategy is built around the following themes:

• Lincolnshire’s Businesses (Small business, innovation and growth).
• Community and a sense of place (Environment and heritage)
• Empowering People (Employment and skills)


Which other partnerships are we working with?

Involving Lincs is working closely with partners to develop cohesive programmes and opportunities across Greater Lincolnshire.
These partners are:
• Financial Inclusion Partnership (FIP) – Focusing on financial inclusion.
• Employment and Skills Board – Focusing on employment and skills activity as the employment and skills sub group of the LEP.

What are ‘opt in’ partners?

‘Opt In’ partners will be providing match funding to the European programme. These partners are providing cash match funding to deliver activity or programmes where they have similar and complementary priorities or aims.
Initial opt in partners have been confirmed as:
• Big Lottery Fund
• Department of Work and Pensions (DWP)
• Skills Funding Agency (SFA)

What are the timescales for EU funding?

It is anticipated that the EU programme and ‘calls for activity’ will be launched from April 2015. Further details are yet to be confirmed and will be subject to UK Government signing off the operational plan with the European Commission.

Timeframes and applications processes for ‘opt in’ partners are also being developed and will be announced in due course.


How can I get involved?

Please contact Ben Barley on 01522 551683 or ben@voluntarycentreservices.org.uk for further information.