The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is one of the European Union's four Structural Funds; its main aim is to promote economic and social cohesion in the European Union by working to reduce inequalities between regions or social groups.

Its resources are allocated to certain disadvantaged regions according to the Structural Funds' objectives. Financial assistance from the ERDF is mainly targeted at:
**supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

**promoting productive investment

**improving infrastructure

**furthering local development.

The ultimate aim of assistance from the ERDF is to create jobs by fostering competitive and sustainable development.

Many people do not realise that they are probably benefitting from ERDF money. Local authorities use this cash as a means of subsidising projects which they run, to the benefit of the local community. On the whole, these projects are both well meaning and successful. £2.2 billion is available for English Objective 2 areas aimed towards funding regeneration projects administered by public sector bodies.

The ERDF was actually set up in 1975 to encourage economic growth in the least prosperous regions of the European Union (EU). ERDF has developed in parallel with the EU as a vehicle to distribute funding in order to remedy regional inequalities.

ERDF grants can be paid to private sector bodies providing funding helps develop SMEs. ERDF can aid projects which offer substantial benefits to areas, which would not take place without a grant. Assistance is awarded to projects which offer value for money for achieving the objectives. Projects may receive up to 50% ERDF in Objective 2 areas and match funding must come from other sources such as;
**Regional Development Agencies

**Single Regeneration Budget(or other Government funded schemes)

**Other Public Bodies

**Private Sector

Objective 2 areas are those which have suffered structural difficuties - in other words they've had huge industrial changes and need some assistance in regaining employment and financial stability. e.g Manchester Objective 1 areas are more deprived, have different needs and subsequently more financial aid. e.g Liverpool and Cornwall.

Buildings developed by ERDF are notable by their European flag plaque, as are places wherein projects are held.

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This was written by me mostly from knowledge gathered through my job. I really am that dull!

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