• The Growth Programme is worth over €600 million and is made up of three funding streams:

    European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is worth circa €450 million.
    European Social Fund (ESF) is worth around €166 million
    European Agriculture Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD)

    The EAFRD fund will have a smaller allocation of £9.4 million which will align with the wider Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Growth Programme.

  • European Social Fund (ESF) Cornwall and Isles of Scilly ESF Programme priorities for investment will be through:

    • Increases in labour market participation
    • The promotion of social inclusion
    • Skills development of the existing, and potential, workforce
    • Support for young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEET), or those at risk of becoming NEET

    European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Cornwall and Isles of Scilly ERDF priorities for investment will be through:

    • Increased levels of research and innovation to exploit new market opportunities and drive the commercialisation of new products and services
    • Addressing the issues of climate change and supporting energy sustainability
    • Increasing access to finance for small and medium sized enterprises to enable investment to drive growth
    • A suite of business support products, including a single point of access to simplify the business support landscape
    • Addressing underlying infrastructure issues, including transport and digital

    The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) is part of a suite of funding opportunities available for agricultural and rural businesses. It is part of the wider Rural Development Programme which will run from 2014-2020 and has an allocation of circa £10 million.

    The EAFRD programme will seek to reflect the importance of the Agri-food sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
    The activity likely to be funded under this activity includes:

    • Agri-tech
    • Renewables and Energy Storage
    • Food Enterprise Zone Supply Chain Development Project
    • Investment Grants for businesses
    • Rural and Farm Tourism
    • Broadband

  • There are a number of different ways to find out if you qualify for European funding depending on your circumstances. In the first instance, give the ITI Support Team a call on 01872 224770 to find out more or contact the Programme Facilitation Team on 01872 323248 or

  • Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly qualify for additional funding as our economic performance was below 75% of the European Union average when the programme was originally developed. This programme of European funding builds on the previous Objective One and Convergence Programmes

  • Here is a list of the European Regional Development Fund investments :

    Here are some of the ERDF Convergence successes that the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Programme plans to build on:

    And a copy of our Legacy Book

  • Yes –  follow this link:glossary of commonly used terms

  • Yes, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) helps fishermen in the transition to sustainable fishing and supports coastal communities in diversifying their economies by financing projects that create new jobs and improve quality of life along European coasts.


    The UK programme is worth €243 million, of which €92.1 million is allocated to England.


    EMFF funding is separate from, but aligned to the ESIF Growth Programme which consists of the European Regional Development Fund, European Social Fund and European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.


    How to apply for EMFF


  • The Education & Skills Funding Agency guidance makes it clear that this funding cannot be used.  You can find out more about this through the Education & Skills Funding Agency: common funding rules


  • A redundancy is not eligible under ESF in the ESIF programme, so these costs cannot appear in the budget.

  • ESIF stands for European Structural and Investment Funds.  This is also sometimes abbreviated to EUSIF.

  • There are five ESIF funds, four of which can be accessed in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly; these are: the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF) the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).

    • European Social Fund (ESF) focuses on improving employment opportunities, promoting social inclusion and investing in skills by providing help people need to fulfil their potential.
    • European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) supports research and innovation, small to medium sized enterprises and creation of a low carbon economy.
    • European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) supports rural businesses to grow and expand.
    • European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) helps fishermen in the transition to sustainable fishing and supports coastal communities in diversifying their economies by financing projects that create new jobs and improve quality of life along European coasts.

    More information about these funds 


  • The Managing Authority (MA) for ERDF is the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), whilst the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) manages ESF.  The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is the MA for EAFRD and EMFF.

  • The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP’s ITI Board, which has representatives from key local organisations and sectors, meets regularly with the three Managing Authorities to discuss the programme and project submissions.    The ITI Board provide their assessments of the projects to the Managing Authorities who then guide the projects through the application process, looking at areas such as due diligence, financial probity, strategic fit etc.

  • The ESIF is completely independent of the previous programme.  For individuals all applications are treated as new.  For businesses they should consider if there are any State Aid issues.

  • Please contact the Programme Facilitation Team.

    Email the team on

    Call the team on 01872 323248

  • Applications are invited through a series of Calls for specific activities.  Calls are issued on the following website:

  • A Call is an open invitation for applicants to submit proposals against a published specification. The use of Calls enables the ITI Board and the Managing Authority to specify what they wish to fund and how they wish to fund it, but not who will deliver it. Inviting applications via Calls can bring forward a range of ideas and innovative solutions, as well as helping to ensure that the process for selecting grants is open, transparent and consistent.

  • In most instances, European money has to be ‘matched’ with other funds from the public or private sector. Sources of match funding could be from opt in organisations or the applicants’ own funds dependent upon the nature of the Call. This rule is used to lever in maximum value from other partners, and reassures the Managing Authority that projects enjoy genuine commitment from local partners.  The match rate is determined by the nature of the project, the specification in the Call, and the State Aid scheme being used.  In Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly the minimum match funding rate for ESF and ERDF is 20%.

  • Normally not although separate rules exist for “Opt-in” funded projects.

  • The link here will take you to the website, where you can access all the application forms and guidance on their completion:

  • Each Call specifies particular outputs and results that need to be delivered.

  • The outputs for both ERDF and ESF programmes are clearly defined in the respective Operational Programmes:


    ERDF Operational Programme 2014-2020

    ESF Operational Programme 2014-2020 


    There is also guidance on the output definitions.

  • The Government has decided that there will be no appeals process at the outline or full application stage.

  • Calls typically allow projects to run over a maximum three year period.

  • Match funding can be cash, or cash plus in kind.  For ESF projects, in kind match cannot exceed 10% of the total project cost.  For definitions of in kind funding please refer to the guidance supplied through this link:

  • Yes, the minimum project size is specified in each Call.  Generally the minimum grant award amounts are identified in the Call documents.  As a rough guide, for ESF projects the minimum was previously £150,000 or 25% of the Call value and for ERDF it is normally £500,000.

  • It is up to the applicant to seek independent advice on these areas.

  • To apply for European funding applicants must be legally constituted bodies and not individuals or sole traders.  Applicant organisations can normally be from the public or private sector, although the exact nature of the applicants will be determined by the requirements of each individual Call.  Potential applicant organisations include, but are not limited to: local authorities, statutory and non-statutory public funded organisations/bodies, higher and further education institutions, voluntary/community organisations, private sector companies, registered charities, not for profit organisations.

  • The Programme Facilitation Team provides a free guidance service on all aspects of the application process, including cross cutting themes.  Each query is treated in strictest confidence.  The team is very interested to hear from partners who are developing ideas for future ESIF funded projects and programmes. Please feel free to send your initial thoughts for projects to or call them on 01872 323248.


  • Yes, but please contact the team on
    or call 01872 323248 to check your specific circumstances

  • Opt-in organisations are national public bodies who offer to deliver locally tailored activities. They will draw down ESIF monies and provide the match funding needed from their own national funding programmes.   The national opt-in organisations are as follows:

    • Big Lottery (ESF)
    • Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESF)
    • Department for Work and Pensions (ESF)
  • No, because Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly do not have high enough youth unemployment.

  • ESF, like most external funding, needs to demonstrate added value. This is sometimes referred to as additionality. Projects should ideally be new or innovative or, at the very least, should be able to clearly show what added benefit or activity is happening as a result of ESF investment. A previous project or activity may have identified a gap in provision and this may be filled by a follow-on project but the application would need to clearly show the additionality. This benefit will need to reflect the aims of the ESF programme and also the aims of the ITI Board.

  • Each Individual Call specifies eligible activities.  However at the programme level, retail Capital investment in land buildings or infrastructure of any nature for use and/or occupation by retail businesses is not eligible. The general principle is that support for retail facilities will not assist economic development and that improved performance for one facility is regarded as displacing similar activity elsewhere. Nevertheless, ERDF can be used to supplement similar activities but where it is not exclusively targeted at the retail sector. Revenue support for the retail sector is eligible where all the following are met by a project: the business supported in an SME; and – the support is not exclusively or predominately targeted at retail businesses. Where there is no question of displacement, for example, a specialist consultant is offering advice to a range of retail organisations on reducing their carbon emissions, this should be allowed. Banking and insurance companies should not be supported, as their activities are non productive and support to one institution is likely to lead to displacement of jobs, except as a deliverer of services or match funding, for example as members of a VCLF consortium. This would include insurance brokers who act as intermediaries and ‘sell’ insurance policies to businesses or individuals.   Guidance on the eligibility of other sectors is covered in the ERDF 2014-2020 Eligibility Guidance document.

  • Loan and equity funds are now available to businesses. Referred to previously as ‘financial instruments’ details can be found on the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund (CIOSIF) page or go directly to the CIOSIF website.


  • Contact the Programme Facilitation Team
    Offering a single point of contact for applicants, coordinating both general Programme and specialist technical support in order to address barriers to accessing the Programme.

    Email the team on
    Call the team on 01872 323248