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Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs)

LEPs are the route to European Structural Funding - July 2013

The government has now published its detailed (“supplementary”) guidance to Local Enterprise Partnerships on the development of local European Structural and Investment Funds Strategies. This guidance and a short NCVO European Funding Network briefing can be found here... 

It is crucial that voluntary groups understand that LEPs have been tasked with identifying the local priorities for the investment of EU Structural Funds including ESF and ERDF. So if you want to influence these priorities to benefit your users, clients and communities of interest then you need to engage with LEPs…now. And remember that LEPs are expected to allocate 20% of the available ESF funding for social inclusion and that Big Lottery Fund has committed to being a co-financer – effectively providing match funding.

We and NCVO have urged LEPs in the South West actively to engage with their local voluntary and community sector and we know that many are heading this call. Our take is that LEPs recognize that they need help with engaging the sector and understanding social inclusion and social innovation in their patch. So a positive “offer” from the sector acting collectively wherever possible makes sense.

Do contact Jane Smallcombe (jane@southwestforum.org.uk) or Steve Woollett (stevew@southwestforum.org.uk) if you need further advice or information. More information on LEPs and EU funding to follow soon.

Useful links:

The LEP Network... Find out about your local LEP

The latest from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) on making European funding work better for the UK economy here... 

Our briefing from Autumn 2012 after the government's Autumn statement significantly strengthened the role of LEP's

Our report from 2011 on the importance of the relationship between LEPs and the voluntary and community sector: The Vital Link...