European Funding

ESIF Committee

Our European Structural & Investment Funds (ESIF) Committee, chaired by LEP Board member Adam Starkey, will oversee more than €41 million contracted or committed in European funding, as laid out in our ESIF Strategy, in the following areas:

  • Broadband £1.28 million
  • Innovation £1.49 million
  • Business support £7.1 million
  • Environment £3 million
  • Employment £2.8 million
  • Rural tourism £1.5 million
  • Low Carbon £3.38 million
  • Skills £9.17 million
  • Social Inclusion £2.48 million

(Please note budget is likely to change due to fluctuation in Euro conversion rate. Each commitment attracts match funding so overall budget is likely to exceed 80m.)


Committee Members:

  • Adam Starkey (Chair), Green Gourmet Ltd
  • Ashley Green, Gloucester City Homes
  • Simon King, Royal Agricultural University
  • Matt Lennard, Gloucestershire VCS Alliance
  • Tim Littler, Harrison Clark Rickerbys LLP
  • Steve Lydon, Stroud District Council
  • Roger Morlock, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust
  • Richard O'Doherty, University of Gloucestershire
  • Shaun Parsons, Gloucestershire County Council
  • Bob Watters, Forest Local Action Group
  • Andy Bates, Gloucestershire College

European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

Project: Inspiring Agri-technology Innovation (IAI)

Delivered by: Royal Agricultural University

Funding allocated: £550k

The project delivers a bespoke research and innovation programme (known as ‘Think it -Try it - Launch it - Grow it’) of outreach and support activities for existing and start-up local agri-tech businesses as well as businesses intending to diversify into the agri-tech sector.  The project aligns with local SMART Specialisation, the UK  Innovation & Research Strategy, and the 'UK Strategy for Agri-technology’.

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Project: Gloucestershire Research and Innovation Programme (GRIP)

Delivered by: University of Gloucestershire

Funding allocated: £850k

The project focuses on building a thriving innovation culture among Gloucestershire’s SMEs through specialist facilities to collaborate, network & trade Intellectual Property.  The project will deliver a 4 strand service:

1. Productivity, Technology and Design Research Services

Using research to enable innovation, and new product and service development.

2. Specialist Supply Chain Engagement Activity
Innovation teams, made up of SMEs, academic experts and student practitioners to undertake joint planning of product and service development for prime businesses to extend their supply chain.
3. Clusters and Networks -
Key SME and prime business clusters, based on a smart specialisation model, linked to the key growth sectors identified in the Gloucestershire EUSIF Strategy.

4. Commercialisation and Intellectual Property Exchange  (incl. an IP Voucher Scheme)
A central facility, within the University of Gloucestershire, that will house high value intellectual academic assets and cutting edge equipment, to support SMEs in prototyping, demonstrating proof-of-concept models, product design, promoting emerging and disruptive technologies, and early product validation.

Project: Fastershire Broadband Grant Scheme

Delivered by: Gloucestershire County Council

Funding allocated: £250k

The project, which is being run as a joint LEP activity with The Marches LEP,  is designed to complement a number of central and local government initiatives currently being delivered in Gloucestershire to provide superfast broadband capability to Businesses.  ERDF funding will provide the capability to SMEs which fall outside of the reach of superfast broadband.  ERDF will offer support to individuals and groups of business to procure dedicated connectivity and in doing so, expand the reach of network infrastructure.

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Project: Export for Growth - South West

Delivered by: GWE Business West/ UKTI

Funding allocated: £250k

Export for Growth is a business support project focused on enhancing SME international trade performance in Gloucestershire, Heart of the South West, West of England and Swindon & Wiltshire LEP areas.

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Project: Local Manufacturing Advisory Programme

Delivered by: SWMAS

Funding allocated: £414k

The project will address low productivity by targeting support at key priority sectors defined by the LEPs (primarily Advanced Manufacturing, Low Carbon and Food and Drink Manufacturing) where the greatest local benefit can be delivered.

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Project: Core Growth Hub Services

Delivered by: University of Gloucestershire

Funding allocated: £1.6m

The Core Growth Hub project is delivered through the Growth Hub premises at Oxstalls and will also be accessed through over 30 Growth Hub Resource Centres throughout the county that will be opening from Summer 2017.

The project delivers free, independent and impartial Growth Hub services to organisations within the Gloucestershire area. Services are aimed at businesses with moderate and high growth potential and delivered by a team of business advisers, including business navigators and business guides. The project is aimed at addressing market failure and challenges in business support across Gloucestershire. Businesses with growth potential are supported to analyse the challenges they face and to access the support available to them to achieve their ambition.

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Project: SaGE (Start up and Grow Enterprises)

Delivered by: University of Gloucestershire

Funding allocated: £478k

The SaGE project is designed to stimulate successful enterprise in Gloucestershire.
Eligible businesses will be able to access a range of support including:

Enterprise Diagnostic which qualifies eligibility and assesses where the individual and enterprise is in their start-up journey. This diagnosis tool will be available for completion online and be used during face to face meetings between the project team and entrepreneurs.

Start-up weekends which are designed to provide inspiration, entrepreneurial skills and rapidly market test new ideas and focusses on developing and validating new product and service offers to the point of having a Lean Business Plan.

Enterprise Review provides a 1-2-1 intervention focused on the specific needs of the enterprise or entrepreneur and will result in an Enterprise Review Report which will highlight their priority actions and Next Steps. 


Project: Gloucestershire Accelerated Impact Network (GAIN)

Delivered by: University of Gloucestershire

Funding allocated: £492k

With GAIN, the University of Gloucestershire will build on the national service previously offered by the Business Growth Service and Growth Accelerator, to offer a Gloucestershire specific programme of support for High Growth SMEs.  Eligible businesses will receive 5 days high quality, subsidised coaching, a series of five half day masterclasses, and access to a local high growth networking group.


Project: Gloucestershire - Target 2020

Delivered by: Severn Wye Energy Agency

Funding allocated: £2.1 m

The project is providing a comprehensive energy efficiency diagnostic and advisory service to 300 SMEs in Gloucestershire with provision of a voucher/grant scheme & enhancement of the domestic installer/supplier network. The project aligns with the national energy efficiency policy.

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European Social Fund (ESF)

Project: GEM (Going the Extra Mile)

Delivered by: Gloucestershire Gateway Trust

Funding allocated: £1,639,623

The GEM Project aims to engage with and support individuals within Gloucestershire who are currently dealing with circumstances that are potentially causing barriers to work and move these people closer towards education, training, volunteering or work, including self-employment. This programme is a unique and unprecedented partnership of community based organisations, managed by Gloucestershire Gateway Trust on behalf of Gloucestershire County Council. Each partner has committed to work collaboratively to help individuals with any needs or requirements to overcome any barriers they may have and effectively improve their lives. The GEM Project will reconnect people with their local services through their communities and ultimately help them achieve their desired outcome, whether through a working or educational related route. This programme understands that everyone is unique, with different needs and requirements, impacting on their step into the world of employment, education or training.

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Project: Education Developing Gloucestershire’s Employability (EDGE)

Delivered by: South Gloucestershire and Stroud College

Funding allocated: £770k

The Education Developing Gloucestershire’s Employability (EDGE) project is a pioneering scheme that aims to improve the employability skills of young people by working with learners, employers and education providers whilst focusing on the long term business and economic needs of Gloucestershire. The project concentrates on identifying the current skills gaps and shortages, with the long term aim of retaining talent and knowledge in the county.

The EDGE project will engage at least 450 of Gloucestershire’s micro, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to ascertain how to make education in schools and colleges as well as careers advice and guidance, more relevant to the workplace. It will also set up work placements for 575 students/pupils.

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Project: Skills Support for the Workforce: Low Carbon

Delivered by: SERCO

Funding allocated: £2.5m

The aim of the project is to provide individuals with the opportunities to develop the skills that will enable them to progress in employment.

The project provides support to employers to take on and develop individuals to fill intermediate, technical and higher level skills gaps and shortages. Training will be provided to approx. 1600 individuals.

The priority sectors for the delivery of the Services are those within Low Carbon, Engineering and Construction industries and their related supply chains.

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Project: Skills Support for the Workforce: STEM

Delivered by: SERCO

Funding allocated: £859k

This project provides STEM related training which will support the development of a skilled and adaptable workforce in SMEs in priority sectors in Gloucestershire.

The project delivers short courses and qualifications to improve STEM-related skills in the workforce and aims to reach 556 individuals. 

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European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD)

RDPE Growth Programme Calls for Tourism

A grant of £100,000 towards a new conference and function venue at the Speech House Hotel.

A grant of £99,800 towards the extension of the visitor centre, campsite and food outlet offering and a new activity barn at the Cotswold Farm Park.

Click here for more information about our current open calls.