The West Wales and the Valleys region has been awarded the highest level of support known as Convergence, from the European Union for the Structural Funds programming round 2007–2013.
Convergence, the successor to the Objective 1 programme 2000-2006, covers 15 local authority areas in the West Wales and the Valleys region.
The Convergence programmes for West Wales and the Valleys comprise funding from two separate European Structural Funds: the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF). Around £1 billion of ERDF funds will help progress the region’s transformation into a sustainable and competitive economy by investing in the knowledge economy and helping new and existing businesses to grow. It will also focus on regenerating Wales’ most deprived communities, tackling climate change and improving transport. Over £690 million from the ESF will be used to tackle economic inactivity, increase skills and employment. Together, with match funding, Convergence will drive a total investment of £3.5 billion in West Wales and the Valleys.
ERDF and ESF Operational Programmes for Convergence
Separate Operational Programmes have been developed in consultation, for each of the ERDF and ESF Convergence programmes. Essentially, they are planning documents, which show how the funding will be spent in the region. The documents outline the Priorities for each programme which have been based on social, economic and environmental analyses of the needs and opportunities of the region, and eligible areas of activity in line with European Commission and Council Regulations.
Outlining the programme areas.
The European Social Fund (ESF) programme will utilise 40% of the resources from the total Convergence funding. This means an ESF contribution of €833,585,460 (circa £695 million) and, coupled with match funding, a total investment of €1,500,307,489 (circa £1.2 billion) for the 2007-2013 funding per
The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programme will utilise 60% of the resources from the total Convergence funding. This means an ERDF contribution of €1,250,378,189 (circa £1 billion) and, coupled with match funding, a total investment of €2,691,276,869 (circa £2.2 billion) for the 2007-