EU Funding 2014 – 2020

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European Union Funding 2014-2020

This section of the Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire LEP website is for organisations that have an interest in delivering projects through funding provided by the European Union to be delivered in our area. Through funding these projects we will realise the outcomes that will make Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire a more prosperous place.

Click HERE for a Detailed Explanation of ESIF

European Structural and Investment Funds are the European Union’s main funding programme for supporting growth and jobs. Previously the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), European Social Fund (ESF) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) have been accessed and managed independently. However, for the 2014 to 2020 period, these funds will be run together under a new integrated European Growth Programme which will run from 2014 through to 2023.

Each of the 3 European Growth Programme funding streams can support projects and activities under different themes such as business support, skills, social inclusion and rural diversification which are outlined in national Operational Programmes (OPs) The latest versions of the Ops can be accessed via the Resources section of this webpage. (NB Initial drafts of these OPs have been produced and have been submitted to the European Commission and are now being negotiated and so are subject to change.)

The funds cover mainly revenue activity but there is some scope to support capital projects. All projects and activities supported must show a clear and sustainable contribution to national and local growth agendas.

More information of the ESIF funds can be accessed via the following links.

European Regional Development Fund

European Social Fund

European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (download version available later)

LEPs have a key part to play in the delivery of the ESIF programmes and the detail of how ESIF will contribute to local priorities for jobs and growth across the Stoke on Trent & Staffordshire LEP area, is contained in the Stoke on Trent & Staffordshire LEP ESIF Strategy which can also be accessed here.

Stoke on Trent & Staffordshire is one of 11 areas of the UK to be given Transition status, recognising the specific economic and social challenges facing parts of the LEP area. This means that EU funding can intervene at a higher level (60%) compared to non Transition area

To read our European funding strategy, click the image below.


ESIFS Strategy

ESIF Strategy

How to Apply for the EU Programmes

There are three main EU programmes which the LEP encourages organisations to apply for. Click on the links below to find out more information about these and to apply. Here you will find bidding call templates for each programme theme, application forms and guidance, and key programme documentation that will be useful when submitting your proposal.


Events & Workshops

Understanding the process and requirements for applying to large funding schemes can be daunting. That is why we advise you to attend both our own and nationally run events and workshops. This will give you face to face time with experts in order to better understand what you need to do to succeed. Please click the link to find out more.

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Contact us at for further information