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Programme Structure and Governance

Structure of Programmes

The 2014-2020 ERDF and ESF programmes are structured around specific themes, with large-scale funding allocations (minimum of €15million) known as Strategic Interventions (SIs) allocated to and administered by Lead Partners.

The themes ensure funds are invested into key growth areas where they will have maximum impact, while the programme structure places the majority of administrative responsibility for the funds on Lead Partners. The structure also takes into account the ability of Lead Partners to provide match funding alongside EU funds and creates a single point of contact for smaller organisations submitting funding applications.

Lead Partners are Scottish Government policy directorates, agencies and local authorities strategically aligned to the aims of the Programme; and with the relevant administrative experience and capacity to manage and match large-scale funds.


Managing Authority

The Managing Authority (Member State or regional government) bears the main responsibility for the efficient and effective implementation of the funds and so fulfils many of the functions  of programme management and monitoring, financial management and controls, and the selection of projects for funding.

The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the ERDF and ESF 2014-2020 programmes and has responsibilities including ensuring governance arrangements are implemented, calling for and assessing applications for Strategic Interventions, ensuring monitoring, audit and regulatory activity complies with EC requirements, reporting on targets and for the overall performance of the ESF and ERDF programmes.


Lead Partners

Responsibilities of Lead Partners include:

  • Publicising SI funds through mechanisms such as challenge funds or procurement exercises so individual organisations or delivery bodies can apply for financial support;
  • Working effectively with the Managing Authority to ensure funds are awarded only to projects eligible under European Structural and Investment Fund regulations;
  • fulfilling administrative responsibilities including compliance with audit requirements, and ensuring there is a clear document trail demonstrating that funds are used in accordance with the required standards.

More about Lead Partners and Strategic Interventions