2. 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Programmes in Scotland: a summary
European Structural and Investment Funds are forms of financial assistance provided by the European Commission to Member States.
The key aim of the funds is to strengthen economic and social cohesion by correcting imbalances between regions.
European Structural and Investment Funds are made up of two distinct strands:
- The European Social Fund (ESF)
- The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
The ESF was established in 1958 to help people improve their lives by learning new skills, finding better jobs and lifting them out of poverty.
The ERDF was established in 1975 to support business growth, investment and infrastructure.
The ESF and ERDF programmes operate in multi-year cycles and fund a variety of projects in terms of length, scale and beneficiaries.
ii. The current 2014-2020 programmes in Scotland
In Scotland, we have used ESF and ERDF support to help achieve our aims of Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth:
- Smart Growth – supporting Scotland's businesses and workforce;
- Sustainable Growth – making Scotland a greener, cleaner place to live and work; and
- Inclusive Growth – removing barriers from disadvantaged communities and lifting people out of poverty.
The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Programmes.
We allocate funding to Lead Partners who then bring their own match funding to increase the total amount available for operations.
Lead Partners then distribute funding between individual projects and organisations and/or deliver projects themselves.
Our Lead Partners are made up of:
- Scotland's 32 local authorities;
- Scottish Enterprise;
- Highlands and Islands Enterprise;
- Transport Scotland;
- Zero Waste Scotland;
- Skills Development Scotland;
- Scottish Funding Council;
- National Lottery Community Fund; and
- Other Scottish Government Directorates.