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European Union Funding

Can we apply for European Funding? What's this 5b funding? Can we have some? These are questions you will have certainly heard even if you haven't asked them. This Briefing aims to help answer these questions and others and to lead you through the first part of the European funding maze. It is based on a newsletter written in August 1996, so some of the information is now out of date - this is intended as an example only.

    The three main European Structural Funds are:
  • ESF
    European Social Fund

  • ERDF
    European Regional Development Fund - This fund assists disadvantaged regions - including rural areas

  • EAGGF European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund
    - There is no funding available here for the voluntary sector

The Objectives
EU funds are targeted under objectives:
Objective 1
Promoting areas substantially lagging behind the rest of the European Union. In the UK this is Northern Ireland, Highlands and Islands and part of Liverpool.

Objective 2
Promoting areas seriously affected by industrial decline. In the UK: the Midlands, South Wales, etc.

Objective 3
Combating long term unemployment and social exclusion. This is not area specific and anyone who is eligible by status may apply throughout the EU.

Objective 4
Adapting to industrial change - not available in the UK as the UK government has not agreed the criteria.

Objective 5a
Rural regeneration - agriculture

Objective 5b
Rural regeneration - general and infrastructure

All the designated areas are selected by individual governments and are submitted to the Council of Ministers to prioritise and approve.

Area Specific Funding
Funds under Objective 1,2 and 5b are specifit to a designated area for re-development and structural regeneration. Rural East Suffolk has 5b status. Once a region has 5b status, other funds follow targeting those areas eg, Leader II for Community Rural Development