European Funds in Wales
For the period 2014–2020, Wales will receive European Structural Funds investment worth some £2 billion for the following programmes:
- West Wales and the Valleys programmes
- East Wales programmes, which include the European Social Fund and European Regional Development Fund
In line with EU and Welsh Government strategies for supporting growth and jobs in Wales, the programmes are focused on research and innovation, helping businesses to start up and grow, supporting renewable energy and energy efficiency, strategic infrastructure, tackling poverty through sustainable employment, increasing skills and youth employment.
Both programmes include the European Social Fund and European Regional Development Fund, and together, with match funding, the programmes will drive a total investment of some £4 billion in Wales.
Wales also benefits from the European Agricultural Food Rural Development (external website) which improves competitiveness for farming and forestry, protects the environment and improves the quality of life and diversification of rural economies.
In addition, helping to promote a sustainable and profitable fisheries sector and supporting strong local communities is the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (external website)
Agricultural businesses across Wales also benefit from the Direct Payments to Farmers scheme (external website), worth around £266m a year.
To achieve greater impact, the Structural Funds, Rural Development Plan and Fisheries programmes (known as European Structural and Investment funds) have been developed and will be delivered in an integrated way so that funding opportunities are maximised across the different funds.
The draft programmes are currently being negotiated with the European Commission and to help hit the ground running as soon as the programmes are agreed, potential sponsors are encouraged to discuss their project proposals with WEFO.
Wales will also benefit from the European Territorial Co-operation programmes, which includes the Ireland / Wales Cross-border programme.
We also want organisations to maximise the benefits of EU directly managed programmes, such as the research and innovation Horizon 2020 programme, worth £65 billion across the EU, and COSME, Creative Europe, Connecting Europe and ERASMUS which promote business competitiveness, creative and cultural industries, transport, energy and digital networks, and studying opportunities abroad.
2007–2013 Structural Funds programmes
The delivery of the Structural Funds programmes 2007–2013 and 2014–2020 overlap by a period of around two years, with people, businesses, communities and the environment continuing to benefit from EU projects supported by the 2007–2013 programmes.
EU projects have already assisted over 507,000 participants, of which over 168,800 have been supported to gain qualifications and some 55,000 helped into work. In addition, some 24,600 (gross) jobs and some 8,200 enterprises have been created.