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European Structural Funds


European Structural and Investment Funds




European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) provide EU Member States with financial assistance to deliver the EU2020 strategy of Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth, increasing economic activity and employment across the EU.

  • Smart - developing an economy based on knowledge and innovation;

  • Sustainable - promoting a resource efficient, greener and more competitive economy;

  • Inclusive - fostering a high employment economy delivering social and territorial cohesion.

The implentation of ESIF in Member States is set out in the EU Common Provisions and underpinned by other European regulations.

The funds are focused on EU priorities in areas such as employment, innovation, education, poverty reduction and climate/energy. They also align with Scottish Government priorities to reduce poverty and social exclusion, boost educational attainment and skills development, grow employment levels, economic activity and innovation, and climate change/renewable energy.

The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and European Social Fund (ESF) programmes in Scotland. It has overall responsibility for the implementation, management and effectiveness of funds distributed through the programmes.

Latest News

RegioStars AwardsRegiostars Logo

14 March 2015

The European Commission is seeking applications for the RegioStars Awards 2016. The awards honour Europe's most inspiring and innovative regional development projects in five separate categories: Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth, CityStar and Effective Management. For further information including how to apply, visit the EC website. The deadline for applications is 15th April 2016.



Manufacturing plan to boost industryTitan Crane Clydebank

15 February 2016

£70 million for manufacturing and the circular economy.

Bespoke support and a new Centre of Excellence to help Scotland’s manufacturers innovate and expand have been announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The funding, including £30 million from the European Regional Development Fund, will enable companies to capture new opportunities presented by a move to a more circular economy. Read the full press release here.

Find out more about the Circular Economy Accelerator Programme here.


£60 million to boost youth employment

14 February 2016

Young people in South West Scotland to benefit from new jobs drive.

A £60 million programme to support young people in South West Scotland into secure and sustainable employment has been launched today.

The funding is from the European Commission’s Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) which aims to tackle high levels of youth unemployment across the European Union. Full press release available here.

Read more about the Youth Employment Initiative here.




Working with Scotland's Smart Cities

13 November 2015Working in Partnership

Investment of £4 million secures £40 million in return.

Scottish Government investment in cities is delivering tenfold, with £4 million bringing £40 million in return, Deputy First Minister John Swinney has revealed.

Read more about the Smart Cities initiative here.




Programme Updates

Spaces still available for ESIF Claims Training Sessions

Spaces are still available for the Claims training sessions due to take place this month.  The training will include an overview of the claims process, verifications, the change control process and EUMIS.  Sessions will run from 10am to 3pm. Read More.


Operation application approvals issued and next MAAP dates set

The Managing Authority Approval Panel (MAAP) met in March 2016 to consider over 120 Operation applications. Offer of Grant letters, or confirmation of approvals, have now been issued to successful applicants. Read more.


Work to finalise claims and verifications process nears completion

The claims and verification processes are currently being finalised with the Audit Authority. Many of the established principles on retention and availability of documents, and checks on State Aid and procurement compliance, will continue. Read more.


EC seeking view on European Social Fund                                                     

The European Commission is running an open public consultation as part of the 2007-2013 European Social Fund ex-post evaluation. Read more.


Dates set for completion of 2014-2020 Operation Applications

Dates have now been set for the Managing Authority Approval Panels to process Operation Applications.

The completion dates are later than originally planned due to new audit and compliance requirements which were introduced following the suspension of funding under the 2007-2013 programmes. Read more.


Commission considers 2015 Annual Control Report as work progresses towards lifting of Suspensions

The European Commission is currently considering the 2015 Annual Control Report submitted by the Audit Authority as part of the annual European Structural and Investment Fund audit activity. Read more.

Case Study

The Apex Ascend ProgrammeDonny working with staff member David McNulty completing the Abriachan Forest Trail

Apex Scotland works with prisoners, ex-offenders and people at risk of offending, providing training and education to support behaviour change and enable recipients to lead fulfilling lives.

Since 2012 the Apex Ascend Programme has used more than £400,000 from the European Social Fund to support over 350 individuals.

Donnie was homeless and frequently in trouble with the police. Find out how he turned his life around through the Apex Ascend project.