European Structural Funds: A smart, sustainable and inclusive Scotland in Europe

An overview of the 2007-2013 programmes and an introduction to the 2014-2020 programmes with case studies from both the European Social Fund and European Regional Development Fund.

2007-2013 Programmes - An Overview

The European Structural Funds 2007-2013 Programme had four key priorities:

  • More investment in knowledge and innovation;
  • Unlocking business potential (particularly of SMEs);
  • Improving employability;
  • Better management of energy resources.

The 2007-2013 Programmes saw €450 million being distributed across the country. The funding was allocated as follow:

Highlands & Islands
€121.8 million
Highlands & Islands
€52.1 million
Lowlands & Uplands
€375.9 million
Lowlands & Uplands
€269.9 million

European Structural Fund Case Studies - Delivering Results for Scotland

The 2007-2013 programme period was challenging from a financial perspective. The recession affected economies not only in Scotland but in Europe and globally. But despite the significant economic pressures, European Structural Funds delivered significant benefits for organisations and individuals across Scotland. The case studies in the following two sections demonstrate examples where the Funds have improved employability, helped businesses to start up and projects creating a more carbon-friendly environment. In particular ESF-funded projects have focused on breaking poverty cycles and unemployment issues by providing early intervention measures and personalised support.The Funds have also enabled better training schemes and wider access to lifelong learning, as well as more help for young people to find their first job.

By weakening the barriers that exist at a social and economic level the Funds help to create a more inclusive, healthier, prosperous society. This will continue to be a priority in the 2014-2020 programme.


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