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News Archive

European Structural Funds 2014-2020 - Latest News

 

18 December 2015

ESIF Operation Applications update

The Managing Authority has had to revise the timescales for approving Operation Applications for the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds.

The decision follows unforeseen delays in the completion of the Management and Control System (MCS). The MCS will oversee and enable activity to check that Funds comply with EC Regulations, minimising the risk of EU-funded activity in Scotland falling foul of the rules.

A small number of Operation Applications for the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) Strategic Intervention recently formed part of a pilot scheme to test the MCS. They were used to offset a risk that Scotland could lose valuable EU youth employment funding if it did not meet an EC administrative deadline.

As a result the YEI Operation Applications are expected to be approved by 31 December 2015. Operation Applications submitted under other SIs will be approved during the first quarter of 2016.

 

25 November 2015

 

Deadline for Operation and Strategic Intervention Applications

The Managing Authority has issued a reminder to stakeholders highlighting the upcoming deadline dates for Operations and Strategic Interventions (SI). Applications for Operations which are part of an approved SI should be submitted no later than Friday 27 November 2015. This includes YEI Operation applications.

For stakeholders unable to meet this deadline, a second deadline date of 31 January 2016 has been set for Operation applications.

For Strategic Intervention applications, the next deadline is 15 January 2016.

 

 

25 November 2015

Update on EUMIS IT System

Guidance documents providing an overview of the application and claims process on EUMIS are now available. Detailed step-by-step guidance is now available and Lead Partners will be able to access and download the document once they are on the system and Operations have been approved.

Claims Training

Work is underway to conduct claims training and sessions are expected to be rolled out in 2016. Priority will be given to Lead Partners ready to start claiming and efforts will be made to group Lead Partners according to SI type so that group sessions can be held for those undertaking similar work.

Managing Authority staff members Louisa Harvey and Stephanie Robin will provide the training and sessions are expected to take place from the end of January. Arrangements are currently being made to identify and contact those who will need to attend the training sessions to agree suitable dates.

Web Interface/Schema

Testing on the web interface has had to be rescheduled to manage priority areas of work. Guidance will be issued once testing has been completed, including how to access the interface and the IT requirements to do this.

Queries about any EUMIS activity should be directed to Portfolio and Compliance Managers or sent to eumis@scotland.gsi.gov.uk.

 

13 November 2015

 

Working with Scotland's Smart Cities

Working 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 today revealed.

Mr Swinney highlighted figures that show the Scottish Cities Alliance, a partnership between Scotland’s seven cities and the Scottish Government, has secured £40 million of investment, including £10 million of European Funding to support smart city initiatives. Read more about the Smart Cities initiative here.

 

 

30 October 2015

 

Closure of 2007-2013 programmes

Closure is the process required to officially deem projects funded through the European Structural and Investment Funds completed and closed, and to demonstrate to the European Commission that European funding invested in Scotland has delivered successfully against agreed targets.

All organisations running European-funded projects must submit final progress reports and payment claims to the Scottish Government (Managing Authority) at the end of their ESIF activity in line with requirements set out in European Commission regulations. Submission of these documents allows a final evaluation to be carried out to assess progress against targets, and also enables final project payment to be made.

 

What do the organisations involved have to do?

All projects in receipt of ESIF funding are required to either submit or demonstrate they have retained all relevant project documentation to the Managing Authority within agreed deadlines.

 

What closure activity is happening now?

Managing Authority staff are required to conduct closure procedures for all 864 individual projects funded through the 2007-2013 activity. The projects which have already submitted documents are currently being assessed and a number of projects have already been closed. However a large number of projects have yet to submit their final documentation.

A letter was recently issued to all 2007-2013 funding recipients explaining the closure process and the actions required of them.

For further information about closure please contact ESFClosureQueries@gov.scot.

 

28 September 2015

 

Business Innovation BoostSG Aquamarine Power

 

£78 million fund to help companies develop new products.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today confirmed Scotland is set to become an ‘innovation nation’ thanks to a new funding package which will help Scottish businesses develop almost 1,000 new inventions, products and services.

The £78 million fund will be available to business between now and 2018 and will offer a bespoke support service of financial support and specialist advice. Read more about the ERDF Innovation Fund here.

 

 

11 September 2015

 

Operation Applications:

The Operation Application and Guidance has now been released.

All guidance documents can be found in our Programme Documentation section of the website. 

In order for the Managing Authority to receive these, and process them as quickly and efficiently as possible, a dedicated email address has been created. It is therefore essential that you email your Application, Financial Annex and Outputs and Results Annex and any other supporting documents to this email address by 02 November 2015.  A separate application is required for SI management costs.

You should only submit an Operation Application once the related Strategic Intervention has been approved and a Strategic Intervention Approval Letter has been issued and accepted.

The email that should be used for your submissions is operationapplications@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

This is the first call for Operation Applications.  There will be a number of further calls in 2015 and regular calls throughout the life of the programmes and these will be published on the ESIF website.

 

 

 

28 August 2015

 

 

Tackling Employment BarriersEmployability Funding

28 August 2015

£43 million to boost job opportunities.

European funding of £43 million is supporting the long-term unemployed and people with multiple barriers to secure sustainable employment across Scotland.

Read more about the ESF Employability Fund here.

 

 

17 June 2015

 

EUMIS IT SYSTEM

The new EUMIS IT system allow ESIF partners to monitor progress based on their defined roles as either a lead partner responsible for an entire Strategic Intervention or as a delivery agent of an individual project (operation). Strategic Interventions are only placed on the EUMIS system once agreement is reached with the Managing Authority about the range and type of activities to be included, the method of delivery and the agreed monitoring targets and budget.

Supporting operations for each Strategic intervention are added to the EUMIS system as they are developed by Lead Partners and Delivery Agents. Once Strategic Interventions are live on the EUMIS system, funding will be paid as agreed milestones are achieved.

  • Applications can now be uploaded to the live site once operations have been approved.
  • The last phase of testing is now complete and claims can be made soon.
  • The schema will be available from October onwards.
 
EUMIS TRAINING
  • Training has now taken place on applications for Lead Partners.
  • Training for claims will be scheduled later this year.
  • A number of partners have asked for access to the training site. The training site is on an internal server and it is therefore not possible to provide Lead Partners with access. It is recognised that lead partners will need to train delivery agents and work is taking place to find the best way to take this forward.

 

WEB SERVICE INTERFACE UPDATE

The latest specification for the Web Service Interface has been uploaded to the system – details are available here. This now includes the data required to upload outputs and results against activity. Please note that some of the options available under each field may change following testing in July.

Although the specification document is still in draft form, it should provide enough information for Lead Partners to ensure they capture the necessary information so that data can be automatically uploaded to EUMIS.

 
EUMIS Q&A

When will the schema be available?

The schema will be available from October 2015 onwards.

 

If EUMIS finds an error with one or more records within an upload will the other records still be processed or will all of them be rejected?

The upload will complete and a message detailing all records which could not be uploaded due to errors will be provided.

 

Will EUMIS accept updates as a file submission after the original participant submission, for example to fix original keying errors? 

The web interface document provides details about which data fields can be updated via the schema. Until a participant/business/entity is linked to a claim, the data fields can be manually updated. However, once linked to a claim all participant/business data cannot be amended.

If errors have been made, the Managing Authority will need to be provided with the correct data and the Managing Authority will make the necessary amendments.

 

Can participants belong to more than one operation?

EUMIS will allow a participant/business to be in multiple operations.

 

Will the NI field accept non NI numbers?

Yes but this would be need to be formally agreed by the Managing Authority. Once an individual has an NI, the Managing Authority should be informed so that the records can be updated. The NI field cannot be updated by the Lead Partner once the record is linked to a claim.

 

CONTACT

If you have any questions about EUMIS please contact the system administrator at eumis@scotland.gsi.gov.uk.

 

Update: 29 April 2015

 

Lead Partner Training

Lead partner training sessions on the new EUMIS IT system will be held from 25th May to 19th June in Atlantic Quay, Glasgow.

The sessions will provide an overview of the system and also cover applications. Find out more

 

 

Update: 8 April 2015

 

New Publicity Requirements for European Structural Funds published

 

The Publicity Requirements for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programmes are now available. The requirements provide an in-depth guide on the promotion and communication of ESF activity, including a section dedicated to the use of social media. The requirements also include the new European Social Fund and European Regional Development Fund logos, and specific rules regarding their use.

For further information and advice on the use of the Publicity Requirements please email futurefunds2020@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

You can also find out the latest new about European Structural Funds by following us @scotgovESF.

 

 

New ebook promotes benefits of European Structural Funds in Scotland

 

ESF eBook

The European Structural Funds division of the Scottish Government has published a new ebook to promote and celebrate

the achievements of the 2007-13 programme, and to increase awareness and understanding of the new 2014-20 scheme.

The document, which is available to download, highlights the positive impact European funding has on Scottish people, communities and the Scottish economy. It also outlines the strategic aims and objectives for the 2014-20 programme.

Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities, Keith Brown, recently launched the ebook at the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation when he unveiled £76million of European Regional Development Fund and partner organisation money for the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme. The funding will provide tailored support for established and start-up low carbon infrastructure projects across the private, public and community sectors.

 

Update: 4 March 2015

 

Timetable for third Tranche Strategic Intervention Applications:

 

As you will be aware, the deadline for the 3rd call of Strategic Intervention applications is Friday 11 May 2015. In order for the Managing Authority to receive these, and process them as quickly and efficiently as possible, a dedicated email address has been created. It is therefore essential that you email your Application, Target Breakdown Annex and any other supporting documents to this email address by the deadline.

The email that should be used for your submissions is; strategicintervention@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

 

  • SI Applications submitted – 11 May 2015
  • Issue applications to Risk and Scrutiny Panels – w/c 25 May 2015
  • Issue applications to JPMC and HITC for comments – w/c 25 May 2015
  • Issue applications to State Aids for assessment – w/c 25 May 2015
  • State Aids/JPMC/HITC Feedback on SIs – 8 June 2015
  • Scrutiny and Risk Assessment Panels meet - w/c 15 June 2015
  • MA issues Offer Letters – w/c 6 July 2015

 

All guidance documents can be found in our Programme Documentation section of the website.

Previous application timetables can be found here

For further information please contact Futurefunds2020@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

 

22 January 2015

2014-2020 ESF Programme Update

 

As you will be aware, the deadline for the 1st call of Strategic Intervention applications is Friday 23rd January 2015. In order for the Managing Authority to receive these, and process them as quickly and efficiently as possible, a dedicated email address has been created. It is therefore essential that you email your Application, Target Breakdown Annex and any other supporting documents to this email address by the deadline.

 

The email that should be used for your submissions is; strategicintervention@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

 

2014-2020 ESF Programme Update: 19 December 2014

Timetable for First Tranche Strategic Intervention Applications i.e. Start date prior to 01 April 2015

The MA now invites designated Lead Partners to submit Strategic Intervention applications for those SIs which will require a start date prior to 01 April 2015.

SI Applications submitted – 23 January 2015

Issue applications to Risk and Scrutiny Panels – w/c 26 January 2015

Issue applications to JPMC and HITC for comments – w/c 26 January 2015

Issue applications to State Aids for assessment – w/c 26 January 2015

State Aids/JPMC/HITC Feedback on SIs – 4 February 2015

Scrutiny and Risk Assessment Panels meet - w/c 9 February 2015

MA issues Offer Letters – w/c 23 February 2015

Timetable for Second Tranche Strategic Intervention Applications i.e. Start date on or after 01 April 2015

SI Applications submitted – 9 March 2015

Issue applications to Risk and Scrutiny Panels – w/c 16 March 2015

Issue applications to JPMC and HITC for comments – w/c 16 March 2015

Issue applications to State Aids for assessment – w/c 16 March 2015

State Aids/JPMC/HITC Feedback on SIs – 25 March 2015

Scrutiny and Risk Assessment Panels meet - w/c 30 March 2015

MA issues Offer Letters – w/c 13 April 2015

All guidance documents can be found in our Programme Documentation section of the website.

For further information please contact Future_funds_2020@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

 

2014-2020 Programme Update: 7 November 2014

 

Scottish Operational Programmes

Operational Programmes for the new European Structural and Investment Funds 2014-2020 are scheduled for approval by the end of this year, with activity expected to begin in early 2015.

The Scottish Government will be submitting revised Operational Programmes to the European Commission by the end of November to ensure they meet EC requirements and also clearly demonstrate how the use of funds in Scotland will achieve strategic European aims of increasing competitiveness and innovation.

Draft Operational Programmes were sent to the Commission earlier this year for consideration, and at the same time the Scottish Government published the documents and sought views from stakeholders. This feedback was used to shape distinct actions for the Highlands and Islands, the governance arrangements and also specific activities for each proposed Priority Axis.

The revision of the Operational Programmes follows extensive negotiation between the Scottish Government and the European Commission since July, both to meet Commission requirements and to respond to the evolving UK Partnership Agreement which was approved last week.

The negotiations focused on the need for a clear logic underpinning the intervention process, from needs analysis through to activities and expected results, and also to ensure the Operational Programme documents were suitable for the entire programming period. Although the broad programme aims remain the same, a number of changes were required to meet the Commission requirements.

•The strategy section has been updated to emphasise additional territorial challenges, particularly around cities, rural areas and the transition region. This has allowed the specific needs of the Highlands and Islands to be explored in more detail and, as a result, the strategy now presents a better link through to the activity targeted in that region

•The activities for each Priority Axis are more generalised, and refer less directly to strategic interventions. The intention is still to support the interventions identified in the Strategic Delivery Partnership process conducted in the middle of 2013, but the editing now builds in an ability to review and shift policy during the programming period. This change supports the commitment to conduct a mid-point review of the programmes and avoids pre-judging what the needs of Scotland might be by 2018.

•The selection criteria for strategic interventions and projects have been tailored to each Priority Axis, reflecting for example the need to demonstrate market failure, an in-depth understanding of associated state aid rules, or the need to align with domestic policy and funding initiatives to avoid duplication.

•Significant changes have been made to allow certain types of infrastructure investment. For example, the Commission agreed during negotiations that the programmes in Scotland could invest in broadband, enabling low carbon infrastructure such as localised grid access. It has also agreed to limited investment in SME infrastructure in the transition region in cases where market failure can be demonstrated;

•Equally, the scope for other infrastructure has been narrowed or ruled out, for example the ability to invest in publicly-owned (public sector?) business and innovation infrastructure, including for energy efficiency; and the limiting of infrastructure investment in cultural assets to those cases with direct and immediate benefits for SMEs. These limitations are now reflected in each relevant Priority Axis.

•Indicators have now been revised to demonstrate clear links between needs, actions and results, and to ensure they relate to specific objectives.

•The connection with other funding instruments are now much clearer, both as an ambition (see section 8) and also as practical actions. For example synergies forming part of the selection criteria and allowing the funding of preparatory studies under Technical Assistance.

•Management, control and governance roles are more explicit, and are more in line with regulatory requirements.

•The section on simplification now has a stronger focus on how initiatives will simplify the funds for beneficiaries.

The Scottish Government is confident that the changes have resolved all issues raised by the Commission, and expects the Operational Programmes to be approved by the end of December. Activity would therefore start in early 2015.

To support and assist this process, the Scottish Government will work with Lead Partners for the first round of strategic interventions, with formal applications made in early December, and a scrutiny and risk committee set up with the aim of approving applications in late December and into January 2015. Applications will be prioritised according to anticipated start date, and to ensure continuity on certain types of activity, such as employability measures under the Local Authority-led pipelines.

Applications will be invited in February and March 2015 for the second and third rounds of strategic interventions, with all initial strategic interventions expected to be approved by April 2015.

For further information please contact Cheryl.glen@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

 

2014-2020 Programme Update: 30 October 2014

 

UK Partnership Agreement & Operational Programmes

The UK Partnership Agreement was adopted yesterday by the European Commission. This marks a major milestone in preparing for the new programmes, and the press release can be found here http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-1213_hu.htm

Scottish Government submitted draft Operational Programmes for both ERDF and ESF in July of this year, and has been negotiating the precise focus and content with the Commission since. With the approval of the Partnership Agreement, the Operational Programmes are now expected to be formally resubmitted during November for final approval by the end of this year. The Operational Programmes will be published in full on this website when they are approved.

Scottish Government will continue to work with lead partners to ensure that priority activity, including employability support where there is a real risk of loss of capacity, can commence in January 2015.

For further information please contact Cheryl.glen@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

 

WEB UPDATE- 3 October 2014

Annual Communications Activity 2014

The upcoming European Structural Funds Programme 2014-2020 will soon go live. In preparation for this exciting launch, the ESF Department has decided to present its annual activity in the form of an e-book. The purpose of the e-book is to list the achievements of the previous programme and aspirations for the one forthcoming.

Much of the e-book will focus on the success stories of the 2007-2013 Programme in order to demonstrate the reach and positive impact of European funding. This platform presents an opportunity for beneficiaries to present case studies which will be duly highlighted within the e-book. The ESF Department, therefore, would ask beneficiaries to take advantage of this opportunity to put forward worthy endeavours, projects that have gone on to make a significant contribution at the domestic level, which can be presented in the e-book.

If you would like to provide information, photos or case studies for the e-book please send these to future_funds_2020@scotland.gsi.gov.uk by 20 October 2014.

For further information please contact Cheryl.glen@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

 

2014 Programme Update 26 June 2014

 

Operational Programme Responses

The Scottish Government received 21 submissions on the draft Operational Programmes in June. Thank you to all those that provided feedback. The comments have been very useful in identifying where the drafts could be strengthened or clarified and also where there is a need for more information as we move forward. The Operational Programmes are being submitted the w/b 7th July and updates on their progress will be posted in due course. A summary of all responses is now available in the Programming Documentation section of our website.

Strategic Intervention Lead Contacts

The European Structural Funds have produced a Strategic Intervention Lead Contacts list. We would be grateful if all future enquiries could be directed to the relevant person, this will hopefully ensure you receive a much quicker response.

The Programming Documentation section of our website has been updated with a copy of the responses table and the Strategic Intervention Lead Contact Details.

 

2014 Programme Update 20 June 2014

 

YOUTH EMPLOYMENT INITIATIVE IN SCOTLAND

 

The UK Government recently announced further details of the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) funding which will aim to help young people to get into employment.

 

In Scotland access to this programme is restricted to the South West Scotland NUTS 2 regions and all local areas within South West Scotland will be eligible.

 

The funding of €46.30m will be matched by an equal amount from the mainstream European Social Fund (ESF) programme and also by project partners to help young people aged 15 to 29 find employment. There will also be the option to extend the age range to 14 year olds at high risk of not engaging a positive life path for example, those at high risk of disengaging from mainstream education and becoming NEET.

 

The Funds will be built around the Youth Guarantee and “investments supported by the Youth Employment Initiative should be strongly oriented towards achieving concrete results and achieving them quickly”. The initiative will support two outcomes – sustained employment or entry onto and progress through an accredited qualification.

 

Over the last few months Scottish Government has engaged with local government and other partners to develop the most appropriate interventions for this initiative. They are:

 

  1. To extend the Employer Recruitment Incentive

 

  1. Provision of additional Learning (College) Places or Vocational Training Places

 

  1. Improving Learning Pathways to Employment.

 

The Youth Employment Initiative will form a separate priority axis within the mainstream Operational Programme for ESF. Over the coming months Scottish Government will develop the governance and implementation arrangements for the priority axis and will continue to work and engage with partners in the development of this initiative. An open call for applications is not expected.

 

2014 Programme Updates - 12 June 2014

 

Update to timelines and negotiations

The UK Partnership Agreement has now been formally submitted to the European Commission, and the negotiation process has started. A full UK delegation presented the UK PA to the Commission on 13 May. The feedback was lengthy, reflecting the complexity of the issues left to discuss. These include thematic concentration, in particular Commission doubts over the need to spend ESI Funds on strategic infrastructure such as flood defences, broadband and roads; developing and settling delivery and governance arrangements; and the ongoing judicial review over UK allocations, which is now expected to conclude at the end of June.

In Scotland, this will mean strengthening the argument for broadband investment, being clearer around how any investment would be delivered in a state aid compliant manner and defining the expected impact upon economic growth and jobs.

The scale of these issues means the negotiating process could take up to 6 months. However, EU Commissioners have indicated that they would like all member state PA’s signed off before their tenure ends in October, and UK approval is therefore expected towards the end of September.

To minimise the gap between programme periods, Scottish government will now aim to negotiate the Operational Programmes for Structural Funds in parallel with the Partnership Agreement. The issues raised by the Commission are likely to be the same in both sets of documents, and dealing with them in parallel could mean that Scotland gains Commission approval for its OP’s just a few days after the Partnership Agreement is signed off. This now suggests that a likely start date for Structural Funds Operational Programmes will be late on in 2014, with the Scottish Rural Development programme still on target to follow in January 2015.

 

Draft ERDF and ESF 2014-2020 Scottish Operational Programmes – 30 May 2014

 

The 2014-2020 ERDF and ESF operational programmes have been drafted with extensive stakeholder input over the past year and have been shaped from the strategic interventions on which we consulted last year. These documents follow a template set by the European Commission and are mainly focussed on describing:

  • strategic context
  • objectives and ambitions
  • justification for the choices made
  • actions, indicators and targets by thematic objective and investment priority
  • allocations by year, thematic objective and investment priority
  • implementation - tools, specific area needs, compliance, administrative burden, horizontal principles, ex-ante conditionalities.

These draft documents are now presented for further stakeholder comment over the next 10 days. There are some parts of the documents still under consideration and final analysis, in particular in relation to the finalisation of indicators, targets and allocations. It is worth noting that the European Commission has set many of the indicators that have to be used and the drafts reflect these.

The Scottish Government aims to submit the final versions by the end of June 2014 to minimise delay after the UK Partnership Agreement has been approved, which we expect in early autumn. The drafts are available for final stakeholder input here.

The Commission have been clear that they will judge the programmes on the basis of the ‘intervention logic’ – that is

  • the need for the Funds to intervene
  • the economic and social change to be achieved, and
  • how success will be measured.

With that in mind, we are particularly keen to hear views on two issues

  • Is the need for intervention and the intended result clear for each priority axis (thematic objective) clearly described?
  • Do the funding allocations for each priority axis reflect the balance between and the scale of the various needs, the ambitions for structural change, and the reality of what might be achieved within the size of the programmes?
  • Do you think the monitoring and evaluation processes suggested for mainstreaming horizontal themes are appropriate and are there any further suggestions you would like to recommend?

Comments should be sent by 16 June to the future funds mailbox: Future_funds_2020@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

 

2014 Programme Updates - 23 May 2014

 

Procurement under the new programmes

The 2014 regulations have brought a sharper focus on fewer activities, and a desire to align the ESI Funds with each other through the common strategy in the Partnership Agreement. The Scottish approach is to focus resources on strategic interventions - projects, programmes and schemes of significant scale delivered by lead partners over a number of years. The approach is intended to get a bigger impact, reduce audit and financial risk as well as concentrate resources where match funding is likely to be available. It builds on experience in the later stages of 2007-13 programmes with CPPs and strategic delivery bodies.

The Lead Partner approach anticipates that operations within a strategic interventions will either be delivered

  • directly by the lead partner,
  • through procurement of delivery agents (such as the local 3rd sector bodies); or
  • through grants from open and transparent challenge funds.

In both the procurement and challenge fund approaches delivery agents will be able to bring match funding to planned activities. Locally based, active third sector organisations working on employability, poverty and social inclusion can expect to find their activities still supported either by local authorities/CPPs, SG’s directorates and agencies, and other potential Lead Partners, albeit they may now have their services procured or grant funded.

With the scale of funding involved, and the Commission’s increasing scrutiny of compliance, it is important to ensure that these rules are followed both by Scottish Government in selecting strategic interventions and the Lead Partners to operate them; and by Lead Partners in selecting operations to meet the aims and objectives of the strategic interventions.

Procurement at both levels hinges on whether the lead partner or delivery agent is receiving grant funding (which does not require to be procured) or whether, on an analysis of the individual facts and circumstances, what is being provided is in fact a service for a fee (such as the lead partner fulfilling a fund management role or a delivery agent providing consultancy services, which could potentially be provided by a number of organisations). If a lead partner or delivery agent is receiving a management fee then this may be an indication that they are providing a service for remuneration and this may require to be procured.

It is important to bear in mind that there is no one definitive answer to this. It will depend on context and on the detail of the strategic intervention or operation, and something that may look like a grant could slide into being a contract for services and vice versa. This will be a question of judgment and risk, and careful records should therefore be kept regarding any such deliberations.

 

State Aid in the new programmes

State aid is a European Commission (EC) term which refers to forms of public assistance, given to undertakings which has the potential to distort competition and affect trade between Member States of the European Union.

The State aid rules are used to avoid a ‘subsidy race’ between Member States, to ensure a level playing field across the EU and to maintain competitiveness and encourage innovation and restructuring. It is important to note that the European Commission has sole competence over what is and what isn't a State aid.

Where the public sector provides resources toward activities which are economic in nature (i.e. placing goods or services on a given market) then such funding is likely to be State aid . As many of the Structural Funds interventions will fund economic activities the new programmes must therefore conform to the EC’s state aid rules.

The legal status of the beneficiary of any grant is not a factor in deciding the presence of State aid. Instead it is the activity being funded which determines the likely presence of State aid. There are a number of activities which are expected to be included in the Structural Funds operational programmes which may constitute economic activity, including:

  • The provision of consultancy services for business development
  • The provision of training for skills enhancement (this is not likely to include formal qualifications at state-funded institutions such as the FE and HE sector)
  • The provision of grants for individual business investments, e.g. for energy efficiency (this does not include loans under the Financial Instruments)

This is not an exhaustive list and each case must be considered on its own merits. Where economic activity is being publicly funded, an individual recipient or service provider might be given an unfair advantage over potential competitors as a result of the public intervention. If a complaint was made to the EC and upheld, the beneficiary may be asked to repay all aid received with interest.

Some national delivery and funding organisations adopt a ‘blanket’ approach which requires that grants to individual beneficiaries are awarded via the EC’s de minimis Regulation. This Regulation allows aid of up to €200k per beneficiary to be awarded for almost any purpose (with certain exceptions) over a 3-year rolling fiscal period and this blanket approach is aimed at ensuring State aid compliance in respect of all awards it makes. However, this is unlikely to be widely practicable under the strategic approach adopted for Scotland and could constrain the ability to deliver more focused and intensive activity in bigger tranches.

There may be other options to enable us to minimise the State aid risk at programme level which would allow that strategic approach:

  • In each case consider whether there is a robust argument that one or more of the four State aid tests are not met. For example, the activity being funded under the programme may not be economic in nature or may serve only a distinct, very local, market, with minimal possibility of intra-community trade or competition being distorted. If one of the tests is not met, then the measure is unlikely to be State aid.
  • Procure openly for providers – this could resolve a number of issues around business advice and employability services . If a service is being provided under a contract for services and at a market rate following an open procurement then there is no state aid.
  • Notify a scheme under the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER). This Regulation permits State aid for particular types of activity, for example training or investment in energy efficiency – however, aid awarded under the GBER is subject to aid intensities (limits) which represent the maximum public funding that can be awarded for an activity and not just the Structural Funding being offered - all public funding for the same activity must be cumulated so as not to breach these limits (i.e. from different funders such as local government, BIG and Scottish Government). Therefore this option may not help those organisations who are highly dependent on a variety of state funding sources.
  • Consider whether the activity might be classed as a Service of General Economic Interest (SGEI). SGEI are services of an economic nature that public authorities identify as being of particular importance to citizens, but which are not supplied by market forces alone, or at least not to the extent and under the conditions required by society. Their provision may therefore require public intervention.

Examples of SGEI can include helping disadvantaged people to access the labour market or social inclusion of vulnerable groups. When a series of strict conditions are met these can be wholly funded, less any revenue from the service. SGEI are carried out in the public interest under conditions defined by the State, which imposes a public service obligation on the provider(s). Since SGEI provision under such conditions may not generate a (sufficient) profit for the provider, public service compensation might be needed to offset the additional costs stemming from the public service obligation.

As the strategic interventions are developed, Scottish Government State Aid Unit (SAU) will continue to advise on the best option for minimising the risk to Scottish Government, Lead Partners and Delivery Agents in implementing the new programmes. The SAU has a helpful website – www.stateaidscotland.gov.uk – which provides further detail on the topics covered above and on how to identify a State aid and ensure compliance with the rules.

 

Social Inclusion and Combating Poverty

The Scottish Government has been working closely with a range of stakeholders over the past few months on how the Structural Funds could best intervene to meet European Commission expectations for social inclusion and poverty reduction. Approximately €90million will be allocated to a number of interventions designed to provide a holistic approach ranging from strategic responses through action planning and delivery to community based solutions recognising that the issues that require tackling will vary depending on location. Discussions, including input from the two consultations in 2013, have identified the need to focus on the following areas:

  • Intensive support to removing barriers to active participation in society and the labour market for those (especially that have multiple barriers) This would be delivered through enhanced CPP employability pipeline interventions.
  • Intensive financial inclusion support targeted on areas of high deprivation.
  • Community based solution approaches to identifying and tackling social inclusion and poverty issues at a local level – targeted on deprived and fragile areas. We are exploring doing this through an enhancement of the People and Communities Fund and Strengthening Communities programme.
  • Access to financial and advisory support to develop social enterprises, to assist them in providing employment and in addressing poverty and social inclusion
  • Access to funding for social innovation – to test and develop new ideas, ways of working and models

There will be strategic oversight and a forum involving social and civic interests will be established to provide valuable input into ensuring these funds are meeting the needs and objectives set. These actions will provide an opportunity for the third sector to be involved in both governance and delivering support on the ground.

We will provide further updates as these interventions take shape.

Feedback will help us to keep these updates relevant so please do not hesitate to contact cheryl.glen@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

 

2014 Programme Updates - 9 May 2014

 

Progress with local government sector

Scottish Government and SLAED are involved in constructive discussions around the development of employability and business competitiveness interventions. These discussions aim to identify the focus for the pipeline for 2014-20; the specific activity suitable for EU funding and which will be supported; together with a series of simplified cost options to support implementation.

Although work is still required on the detail, an outline agreement has been reached on the potential shape of a national standard agreement covering arrangements for both the Employability and Business Competitiveness interventions in the 2014 Structural Funds programmes. The national standard agreement will cover

  • The governing principles of funding
  • Local Authority lead partner responsibilities
  • Reference and links to Single Outcome Agreement, Scottish Government Economic Strategy, and relevant European strategies
  • The technical and eligibility framework for both Employability and Business Competitiveness interventions (i.e. what they can, and cannot support)
  • National outcomes, outputs, targets for three years 2014-2017
  • Funding mechanisms including (unit/standard costs, flat rates, scaled funding)
  • The principles of funding allocations to local areas for the relevant strategic interventions
  • A ‘menu’ of activity which can be supported in local areas, and the unit or simplified costs that can be associated with them

An annex to this national agreement per local area will set out the allocation, which activities have been agreed, how these will be delivered, and which outputs and outcomes will be achieved.

The national standard agreement will be designed in such a way that it can be entered into either by individual local authorities, or by local agreement, regional groupings. The ‘menu’ of intervention actions should contain the necessary core options to meet the minimum requirements of the Structural Funds and a suite of agreed local elective actions which are sufficiently broad to meet diverse local needs, area by area.

This work means the pipelines could be the first of the strategic interventions ready to go live when the operational Programmes are approved. This will have a beneficial impact on the many third party (and often third sector) providers who are directly involved in the pipelines. A clear list of activity which can either be delivered through procurement or through transparent grants based on agreed unit costs will mean greater certainty for everyone; and significantly reduce the risk of delays in starting this important area of the programmes.

Feedback will help us to keep these updates relevant so please do not hesitate to contact cheryl.glen@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

 

2014 Programme Updates - 30 April 2014

 

The first update received positive feedback and this second instalment focusses on the UK Partnership Agreement, governance, simplified cost options and LEADER.

The UK Partnership Agreement was formally submitted in mid-April. The Scottish Chapter was the result of a combined effort with stakeholders and the case for the direction of the new Programmes has been strongly made and is in line with the European Commission’s expectations on thematic concentration. Updates will be provided on this site on its progress. The document can be viewed here. The UK Partnership Agreement has also been published and is now available to view online https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/european-structural-and-investment-funds-uk-proposals

We have continued to work on the governance for the new programmes in line with the update in early April. The proposed structure provides the opportunity for a strategic overseeing and monitoring role by a Joint Programme Monitoring Committee but the opportunity to deal with more operational detail through other groups devoted to the funds, sectors and territories. A draft diagram is available here and will be subject to review over the forthcoming weeks.

Work continues on the policy design alongside the operational processes and systems. It was clear from some of the feedback that there is a need to explain further some of the operational changes highlighted previously. The key change is that there will be no challenge funds operated by the division as there have been for the past 3 programming periods. Lead partners will operate a number of strategic interventions. Some of these may include a challenge fund approach within them but most will be delivered through procurement of services (such as those to support businesses or unemployed participants) or through direct delivery.

There is a lot of interest in the new National Rules that will govern the new programmes and in the simplified cost options we will use. There is still work to be done but a review of the work submitted by a range of stakeholders last year is underway. Other standard cost models that are in use across the public sector also form part of this review. The next stage is to share draft initial guidance to test models with stakeholders and auditors by the end of May. In the interim, a short guide to the new regulations in relation to simplified costs is provided and updates will follow on progress.

Rural colleagues recently held a LEADER conference where there was a request for more information on the Structural Funds programmes and how the LEADER local development strategies could align. In response, sessions are being established for local area groups in which Structural Funds staff will participate.

The Scottish National Reform Programme 2014 has now been published on the Scottish Government website http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2014/04/2682. The Princes Trust and the Crichton Carbon Centre kindly provided case studies which feature in the Scottish NRP 2014, highlighting the excellent work they do with the help of European funding.

The responses to our consultation document, European Structural Funds 2014 - 2020 Consultation Document, have now been published and are also available to view on the Scottish Government website http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2014/04/5124. A full report detailing the key points of these responses is now available online http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2014/04/3646.

Finally the results of our Equality Impact Assessment have now been published http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2014/04/6350 the full report is available here. We are still keen to receive feedback relating to the EQIA and encourage suggestions for the continual monitoring of equal opportunities in the new programming period, particularly from those with expert knowledge in this area.

Feedback will help us to keep these updates relevant so please do not hesitate to contact cheryl.glen@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

 

2014 Programme Updates – 9 April 2014

 

Welcome to the new SG website on Structural Funds in Scotland. It will be updated regularly over the coming months to provide detail on the developing Operational Programmes and their implementation - especially important in the final run-up to the programmes being launched.

A large number of stakeholders and partners have been an integral part of developing those programmes to date, whether through attending annual events, commenting on articles and blogs, responding to the two formal consultations, or taking part in the partnership groups which have helped establish the focused ideas of scale that these funds will pursue in 2014-20.

The responses to the recent consultation on the outline content of the Partnership Agreement and Operational Programmes shows there is still a great appetite for information, and that this relates to a few core topics in particular.

This website will therefore be updated on a weekly basis focusing in particular on

  • Timescales
  • Formal documentation
  • The developing governance arrangements, for structural funds, and jointly for all the ESI Funds
  • The role of lead partners and delivery agents
  • Simplified Cost Options
  • The development of the new IT system

There will be an update email on a regular basis as well, with headlines and news. If you would like to be included on the mailing list for this, please email cheryl.glen@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

 

2014-2020 Programme Update: 31 October 2014

 

UK Partnership Agreement

The UK Partnership Agreement was adopted on 29 October 2014 by the European Commission. This marks a major milestone in preparing for the new programmes, and the press release can be found on the website of the European Commission.

The approved version of the Partnership Agreement has now also been added to the website of the UK government. In addition, a summary of the Agreement is available here.

Scottish Government submitted draft Operational Programmes for both ERDF and ESF in July of this year, and has been negotiating the precise focus and content with the Commission since. With the approval of the Partnership Agreement, the Operational Programmes are now expected to be formally resubmitted during November for final approval by the end of this year. The Operational Programmes will be published in full on this website when they are approved.

Scottish Government will continue to work with lead partners to ensure that priority activity, including employability support where there is a real risk of loss of capacity, can commence in January 2015.

For further information please contact Cheryl.glen@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

 

 

 

 

Business Innovation & Growth Call Awards Update

Further to the previous announcement of awards through the Business Innovation and Growth call, a further 11 awards have been approved totalling £3.4m under the Lowlands and Uplands Scotland ERDF Programme. Please see the list of current approved projects for all current approvals including these awards.

 

Future Funds 2014 – 2020 Update

There have been two significant developments in the preparation of the 2014 – 2020 programmes recently. Firstly the new Future Funds 2014 – 2020 Consultation Document was published on the Scottish Government website on 12 December 2013.

This document provides an overview of the responses from the May consultation paper and the actions taken in response to this. It also includes a summary of the lessons learned from the current programme and how these have helped shape the future programmes. Finally it sets out how all of this information is going to be developed into the Partnership Agreement and Operational Programme. This document is the final opportunity for stakeholders to ask questions and more importantly make suggestions regarding the development and operation of the 2014 – 2020 programmes. We have already received an overwhelming number of responses and strongly encourage those who have yet to read the consultation and respond to do so as soon as possible. Early responses are encouraged to allow time to consider suggestions and implement any changes these may lead to.

All responses should be submitted using the respondent information form and sent to the future funds mailbox by the 24th of January 2014.

The second major development in the preparation of the 2014 – 2020 programmes is the completion of our Strategic Environmental Assessment Report. This was carried out by our ex anta evaluators and is now available to view online. As with the consultation document responses are encouraged from all external stakeholders and members of the public. In this case however there is no need to complete a respondent information form, simply send any comments you have to the future funds mailbox (futurefunds2020@scotland.gsi.gov.uk) by the 7th of February 2014. Once again early responses are encouraged to allow a sufficient amount of time to consider suggestions and possible changes to the programme as a result of these.

We look forward to your responses and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the future funds team.

 

Business Innovation & Growth Call Awards

 

The grant awards made as part of the recent Business Innovation and Growth Call has now been announced. 44 applications have been successful with £23 million of funding awarded across the Lowlands and Uplands and Highlands and Islands ERDF Programmes.

 

Lowlands and Uplands Scotland European Regional Development Programme 2007-2013 - Changes Proposed to the Operational Programme, July 2013

 

On 03 May 2013 the Lowlands and Uplands Scotland (LUPS) Programme Monitoring Committee (PMC) agreed that the Managing Authority should seek a modification to the LUPS ERDF Operational Programme in view of significant changes to the prevailing socio-economic conditions and the associated challenges related to implementing the Programme.
In summary, the changes proposed are:

  • Re-name the Entrepreneurship sub-section of ERDF Priority 2 ‘Entrepreneurship and Business Support’ and add the following eligible activities:
  • Supporting early stage growth activity
  • Advisory support to established SMEs to assist them to maximise their growth potential
  • The provision of financial support to assist SMEs (start-up, early stage and existing) to implement innovation and growth plans
  • The provision of HR support to micro businesses and SMEs which is clearly linked to strategic business growth projects which create employment opportunities for young people
  • Graduate placement programmes which contribute to clearly identified SME growth and productivity projects.

The original Programme was subject to a Strategic Environmental Assessment, and Directive 2001/42/EC sets out the requirements for further consideration of the effects of modification to Programmes on the environment (also known as the Strategic Environmental Assessment or SEA Directive). Article 3(3) provides that minor modifications to plans and Programmes subject to the scope of the Directive shall require an environmental assessment only where Member States determine that they are likely to have significant environmental effects.

The proposed modifications have been carefully considered and the associated impact of the inclusion of the additional business support activities are not considered to require any further SEA action.

For further details of the changes proposed please see the paper presented to the PMC.

For further information, contact: Susan Tamburrini, Tel: (+44)300 244 6831, E-mail: susan.tamburrini@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

 

Highland and Islands European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007-2013 - Changes Proposed to the Operational Programme, June 2013


On 10 May 2013 the Highlands & Islands Programme Monitoring Committee (PMC) agreed that the Managing Authority should seek a modification to the Highlands & Islands ERDF Operational Programme in view of significant changes to the prevailing socio-economic conditions and the associated challenges related to implementing the Programme.
In summary, the changes proposed are:

  • Adding two new eligible activities "creation of employment opportunities in SMEs" and "energy efficiency in social housing" under Priorities 1 and 3.
  • Adding ‘Energy efficiency, co-generation, energy management’ to the list of categories of expenditure.
  • Virement of funds from Priority 3 into Priorities 1 and 2.
  • Revision of the indicators targets to reflect the above changes
  • Opening the OP for private sector match-funding

The original Programme was subject to a Strategic Environmental Assessment, and Directive 2001/42/EC sets out the requirements for further consideration of the effects of modification to Programmes on the environment (also known as the Strategic Environmental Assessment or SEA Directive). Article 3(3) provides that minor modifications to plans and Programmes subject to the scope of the Directive shall require an environmental assessment only where Member States determine that they are likely to have significant environmental effects.

These proposed modifications have been carefully considered and the associated impact of budgetary modifications, the extension of energy efficiency measures to include existing social housing and additional support for employment are not considered to require any further SEA action.

For further details of the changes proposed please see the paper presented to the PMC.

For further information, contact: Jamie Dunsmore, Tel: (+44)300 0201266, E-mail: jamie.dunsmore@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

 

Business Innovation and Growth Call – 11 July

The deadline for the Business Innovation and Growth Call has now passed with 135 stage 1 applications submitted across the Lowlands and Uplands Scotland, and Highlands and Islands Programmes. In line with the announced timeline, the European Structural Funds Division team will be in contact with applicants by 22 July to offer feedback and to request a Stage 2 application from the successful applicants.

As expected with a limited pot of £20 million ERDF, the call is highly competitive with requests in excess of £80 million of grant received (up to £15 million in Highlands and £71 million in LUPS).

 

Financial Engineering Instruments

Under LUPS ERDF Priority 2, almost £75million of ERDF has been invested in Financial Engineering Instruments which are addressing market failure in the supply of growth capital and debt finance for SMEs

Three of these funds are operated through the Scottish Investment Bank structure and include early stage equity schemes – The Scottish Co-investment Fund and the Scottish Venture Fund, and also the Scottish Loan Fund which provides debt finance to established growth and export companies.

Further information on these funds can be found on the Scottish Investment Bank website.

In addition, there are two smaller loan funds being taken forward by a consortia of local authorities – East of Scotland Investment Fund and the West of Scotland Loan Fund.

 

Business Innovation and Growth - call for proposals

We are currently issuing an open call across all ERDF priority areas for projects that will meet our overall objective of encouraging the growth of Scotland's economy. A total of £20m is available across Scotland. For more detail, please see our prospectus.

 

European Structural Funds 2014-2020 Consultation

The consultation has been launched at the Annual Publicity Event on 14 May 2013. It will cover the strategic, governance and delivery arrangements for the 2014-2020 European Structural Funds programmes.

The consultation will run until 30 June 2013. Should you have any queries, contact the Future Funds team futurefunds2020@scotland.gsi.gov.uk.

 

European Structural Funds – Annual Publicity Event & Awards Ceremony 14 May 2013

The Annual Publicity and Awards Event will take place on Tuesday 14 May 2013. Invitations for the event are available for download.

The Event will be held on Tuesday 14th May 2013 at Glasgow Caledonian University, Banqueting Hall, Glasgow. Timings for the event will be between 8:45 to 15:00 including lunch.

If you require further information please do not hesitate to contact the European Structural Funds Division on 0300 244 6825.

 

European Structural Funds - Newsletter January 2013

A copy of the recent Newsletter is now available for download.

 

Lowlands and Uplands Scotland Programme Monitoring Committee – 24 October 2012 - Draft Agenda

A draft agenda for the LUPS Programme Monitoring Committee on 24 October 2012 in Glasgow is now available for download.

 

Call For Applications - Technical Assistance - 04 September 2012

The Managing Authority and Monitoring Evaluation Group from Scottish Structural Funds Programmes has announced a call for applications for evaluation work to help inform the development of the 2014-2020 Structural Funds Programmes.

Technical Assistance will support up to 50% of eligible for the evaluations, please click here to read more and here for full guidance.

 

Future of the Funds Survey

The Future Funds team invites you to participate in a survey being carried out by Scottish Government on the 2014-2020 European Structural Funds Programmes in Scotland.

More information and link to the survey here.

 

Programme Monitoring Committee Draft Agendas

Draft agendas for the next Programme Monitoring Committees are now available

Lowlands & Uplands Scotland - 29 May 2012, Glasgow

Highlands & Islands Scotland - 13 June 2012, Inverness

 

Future of the Funds Blog

We recently launched a blog on the 2014-2020 EU Structural Funds Programmes for those interested in following the debate in Scotland. In this blog, staff from Scottish Government European Structural Funds Division will post details of talks with both the UK Government and the European Commission on the future of Structural Funds in Scotland, and will provide updates and links to key publications.

We invite you to share your views on the European Commission's proposals and to help shape the 2014-2020 programmes in Scotland. Please sign up to receive email updates for the blog.

 

Intermediate Administrative Branch Contact Details

 

Highlands and Islands IAB Staff

Scottish Government ESF Division, Longman House, 28 Longman Road, Inverness, IV1 1RV

Telephone: 0300 020 1268

Scottish Government ESF Division, 10 Keith Street, Stornoway, HS1 2QG

Telephone: 01851 702392

Lowlands and Uplands IAB Staff

Scottish Government ESF Division, 4th Floor, 5 Atlantic Quay, 150 Broomielaw, Glasgow, G2 8LU

Telephone: 0141 271 3842

 

European Structural Funds - Annual Event - 15 December 2011

The Structural Funds Annual Event took place in Maryhill Burgh Halls on 15 November 2011. A key part of the day was a round table discussion focussing on what we could learn from the current programme, how we could ensure that lessons learned were incorporated into the new programme and how best to use Structural Funds to support Government priorities. The three specific questions are outlined below. This short report captures the main points from the discussions on the day..... Continue

 

UPDATE TO ERDF Legal Context of European Structural Funds State Aid Notification (REFERENCE: X654/2009) - 1 August 2011

The Scottish Government has made an amendment to the State Aid Notification (Reference: X654/2009). The update has been made to include regional investment and employment aid (Article 13) of Commission Regulation (EC) 800/2008 (General Block Exemption Regulation).

The State Aid Notification (Reference: X654/2009) sets out the legal basis which ensures that the European Regional Development Fund in Scotland complies with the relevant provision of the EC General Block Exemption (Commission Regulation No 800/2008). The notification covers the European Regional Development Fund in the Highlands & Islands and Lowlands and Uplands Scotland.

This Notification has been sent to the European Commission via the State Aids Unit - http://www.stateaidscotland.gov.uk/

Click here to see the legal context of the European Structural Funds State Aid notification document

 

Programme Document Retention - 15 July 2011

An important aspect of European Structural Funds is the retention of all project records, in order to demonstrate a clear and transparent audit and procurement trail. To find out more please click here.

 

National Rules - Questions and Answers - 15 July 2011

A new version of our National Rules Questions and Answers is now available for upload here.

 

National Rules (Version 6) - 1 June 2011

A new version of our National Rules is now available for upload here.

 

UPDATE TO ESF Legal Context of European Structural Funds State Aid Notification (REFERENCE: X664/2009) - 19 April 2011

The Scottish Government has made a minor amendment to the State Aid Notification (Reference: X664/2009). The update has been made to include the new Priority 5 'Strategic Skills Pipeline' which operates under the European Social Fund in Lowlands and Uplands Scotland (2007-13) Programme.

The State Aid Notification (Reference: X664/2009) sets out the legal basis which ensures that the European Social Fund in Scotland complies with the relevant provision of the EC General Block Exemption (Commission Regulation No 800/2008). The notification covers the European Social Fund in Highlands & Islands and Lowlands and Uplands Scotland.

This Notification has been sent to the European Commission via the State Aids Unit - http://www.stateaidscotland.gov.uk/

Click here to see the legal context of the European Structural Funds State Aid notification document

 

Information note for project sponsors - The Role of the Audit Authority - 4 April 2011

Under Article 62 of Council Regulation (EC) 1083/2006 the Audit Authority is required to carry out the following tasks - Please click here for more.


ERDF Legal Context of European Structural Funds State Aid Notification - 03 August 2010

The Scottish Government has proposed a Legal Context for the European Structural Funds State Aids Notification for the European Regional Development Fund in Highlands & Islands and Lowlands and Uplands Scotland. This Notification has been sent to the European Commission via the State Aids Unit.

The Notification sets out the legal basis which ensures that the European Regional Development Fund in Scotland complies with the relevant provision of the EC General Block Exemption (Commission Regulation No 800/2008).

Click here to see the legal context of the European Structural Funds State Aid notification document.

 

Sale or Disposal of Assets Part Funded By ERDF - May 19, 2010

We accept that the period taken to deliver ERDF projects and the long auditable life attached to the programmes mean that issues around the sale and transfer of assets are inevitable. We have been asked to clarify the implications of the sale or disposal of an asset funded by ERDF in this and in earlier programmes.

Please click here for more information.

 

Refreshed Communications Plan and Evaluation Plan - July 29, 2009

Attached are new versions of two key strategy documents for European Structural Funds in Scotland.

· Our Communication Plan (2007-13) is refreshed by 30 June each year. The plan is provided to the European Commission and published widely for the information of partners. It sets out our overall communication strategy and forward planning to promote the funding provided by European Structural Funds.

 

ESF Legal Context of European Structural Funds State Aid Notification

The Scottish Government has proposed a Legal Context for the European Structural Funds State Aids Notification for the European Social Fund in Highlands & Islands and Lowlands and Uplands Scotland. This Notification has been sent to the European Commission via the State Aids Unit.

The Notification sets out the legal basis which ensures that the European Social Fund in Scotland complies with the relevant provision of the EC General Block Exemption (Commission Regulation No 800/2008).

Click here to see the legal context of the European Structural Funds State Aid notification document.

 

ERDF Legal Context of European Structural Funds State Aid Notification - July 23, 2009

Today, the Scottish Government has proposed a Legal Context of European Structural Funds State Aids Notification. This Notification will go forward to the European Commission via the State Aids Unit.

The Notification sets out our legal basis which ensures that ERDF Scotland complies with the relevant provision of the General Block Exemption (Commission Regulation No 800/2008).

Click here to see the legal context of the European Structural Funds State Aid notification document.

 

European Commission audit report on Highlands and Islands 1994-1999 European Regional Development Fund - March 9, 2009

Recently the European Commission carried out an audit on the Highlands and Islands Objective 1, 1994-1999 European Regional Development Fund.

Click on the links for more information on the final audit report and/or the European Commission's final decision on their audit.

 

Evaluation contracts awarded

The Scottish Government has set up an evaluation framework contract to cover all evaluation activity under the four 2007-13 Scottish Programmes. The contract, awarded after a full competitive tendering process, will run for 3 years, with an option for a further one year extension at the end of that period. The 3 successful companies to be placed on the framework contract are:

  • Blake Stevenson
  • Fraser Associates
  • Hall Aitken

The Scottish Government looks forward to working with all 3 companies to deliver on the detail of the Scottish Programmes' Evaluation Plan.

 

Scottish Structural Funds Operational Programmes

 

Available for download today is the documentation for each of the four the Operational Programmes: