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the next phase of European Structural Funds 2014-2020

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By WCVA, at the Third Sector Funding Conference 2013.

By WCVA, at the Third Sector Funding Conference 2013.

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  • Phil to open session and introduce JS and David Willis, WEFO.
    Explain role of 3-SET –part funded by EU Structural Funds to provide information, advice and training to third sector organisations seeking to benefit from EU funding in Wales.
    Purpose of workshop:
    Provide an overview of developments on the new Structural Funds programmes that will run 2014-2020
    Indicate the time frame for developments
    Begin to discuss some emerging ideas for project design and delivery opportunities for the third sector
  • Start with the map so everyone is clear of the boundaries of the programmes!
    Between 2007 and 2013, our economy and people across Wales have benefitted from around £3.8 billion of investment (EU funds of £1.9 billion) through the European Structural Funds programmes.
    Wales qualified for Convergence funding in the West Wales and the Valleys, which provides £3.5 billion of the overall investment, because its Gross Domestic Product per capita was less than 75% of the EU average.
    In Wales there is a total budget for the RDP of £797 million over the lifetime of the plan with £196 million coming from the European Union
    This consists of:
     
    £70.3m from the EAFRD
    £84.5m of Compulsory Modulation
    £67.9m from the Convergence Fund
    19 unitary authority areas covered by the RDP.
  • Strategic direction: Europe 2020 and the Welsh Programme for Government – adding value – EU 2020 for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth; Programme for Government lays down the policy framework for the fund
    Welsh Programmes are part of a Partnership Agreement between the UK Government and European Commission
    – funding still comes direct to Wales but performance will be measured at UK level and a ‘reserve’ will be released if performance is up to the standard expected by the Commission. The reporting framework in the UK PA needs to be consistent across the four UK countries = a challenge.
    Single portal for all European Structural & Investment Funds (ERDF, ESF, EAFRD and EMFF) – for applicants to submit projects for consideration.
    WG public consultation on draft Operational Programme closed in April 2013 – summary of the 126 responses have been published on WEFO’s website. Following the consultation some tweaks were made to the second draft:
    A new ‘tackling poverty through sustainable employment’ priority for East Wales (following Budget confirmation) – and a refocus of the equivalent ‘helping people into work’ priority for WW&V – atleast 20% of ESF will be spent on tackling poverty and promoting social inclusion.
    Targeted infrastructure investment introduced for East Wales
    WG seeking to increase the intervention rates in light of match funding pressures.
  • West Wales & the Valleys continues as a Convergence region (circa €1.8bn EU grant aid) – GDP remains a fraction under the 75% EU average GDP qualification criteria.
    East Wales remains a Regional Competitiveness & Employment Area – with a funding up-lift to circa £360m (was £97m)
    Total funding allocation expected to be circa €2.1bn
  • 60/40 split for ERDF and ESF for WW&V
    The Commission has been more directive in this round in ensuring that Member States focus the funds on certain priorities. For ERDF, The Commission has said that resources must be concentrated on key themes of:
    Research & Innovation
    Energy efficiency & Renewable Energy,
    SME competitiveness
    80% in more developed and transition regions (EW)
    50% of resources in less developed regions (WWV)
    Areas highlighted in green are those where the sector is expected to make a contribution to delivery
  • ESF is where we expect the third sector to play a significant role in project design and delivery – notably as regards tackling poverty and social exclusion through employment and youth employment and attainment.
  • Important to say a few words about the RDP – the programmes are being planned by Government in a more integrated way, so we need to understand the potential synergies between EAFRD and ERDF and ESF.
    The Welsh Government has responsibility for preparing the RDP in Wales.  
    There are six proposed priorities that set the context for the EU Agricultural, Farm and European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD):
    Fostering knowledge transfer and innovation in agriculture, forestry, and rural areas
    Enhancing competitiveness of all types of agriculture and enhancing farm viability
    Promoting food chain organisation and risk management in agriculture
    Restoring, preserving and enhancing ecosystems dependent on agriculture and forestry
    Promoting resource efficiency and supporting the shift towards a low carbon and climate resilient economy in agriculture, food and forestry sectors
    Promoting social inclusion, poverty reduction and economic development in rural areas
    The European Commission is running behind in its preparations for the next round of the RDP; curently the essential Implementing Regulation that will provide the detail needed by WG to work up the programme, is still not in place. A launch date of January 2015 is expected. The Commission will put in place a transitional regulation to ensure that provision is made for project activity to continue in 2014.
    Level of funding not yet known.
  • Returning to Structural Funds:
    Tackling poverty and social exclusion (20% ESF ring-fenced and a cross-cutting theme)
    New: Fund for the Most Deprived – this is a new outline proposal, with the regulations still being negotiated. The proposal is for a:
    ‘Fund for most Deprived ‘ involves top-slicing SFs to create funding pot – replacing previous CAP related arrangements.
    Seeks to address food deprivation, homelessness and material deprivation for children.
    One single programme- covering whole of UK ?
    ERDF ring-fenced to tackle key priorities: SME competitiveness; research and innovation and energy efficiency
    Concentration of ERDF resources on the above themes:
    80% in more developed and transition regions (EW)
    50% of resources in less developed regions (WWV)
  • Guilford Review informs approach to deployment of funds – review of delivery mechanisms. Key recommendations were for the creation of an EPF (more in a minute); ‘backbone’ projects/areas of activity; and early mobilisation phase to prevent funding gaps in between programmes; the creation of credible regional and thematic planning mechanisms.
    Guilford also placed an emphasis on the need for much closer integration at delivery level, with interventions designed around the needs of the individual, with high levels of co-operation between projects at planning and delivery stages.
    Operational Programmes - for WW&V and East Wales and the RDP – provide the priorities and themes for interventions to be funded. Applicants will be required to clearly show how a project is delivering what the programme or priority is trying to achieve. Evidence of need will be key as will understanding of what you want to do and who you are targeting. The OP should be considered in conjunction with the EPF.....
    Economic Prioritisation Framework (EPF) – allows the identification of the areas in which Structural Funds can contribute in the most effective and synergistic way to overall Welsh Government economic development policy. Will cover all funds. Should be used in conjunction with the OPs.
    ‘Backbone’ areas of activity – recommended by Guilford to make provision to support an initial group of strategic backbone projects which demonstrate clear potential for early delivery of key objectives of the EPF with subsequent phase(s) providing the ability to react to changing economic circumstances.
    Understanding Welsh Government initiatives is key eg Department for Education & Skills proposals for adult employment and skills strategic framework for delivery – critical for external stakeholders to understand delivery opportunities and where gaps may be to develop additional projects.
  • The Welsh Government is aiming to take a stronger role in co-ordinating the various strands of EU funding that Wales receives. The proposed single portal for applicants will be important in this approach. WEFO PDOs may now work with applicants to design projects that drawn down on a number of EU funding streams, to create better integrated projects.
    In this round of EU funding, WEFO have funded a smaller number of projects: around 280 in total, in comparison to over 3000 individual projects that were funded under the Objective 1/2/3 programmes in 2000-2006.
    Consequently, organisations are engaged with EU funded projects at different levels, with the onus placed on lead sponsors to create delivery opportunities on the ground.
    Project lead sponsor – a properly constituted legal entity that has a grant offer from WEFO and is responsible for fulfilling the terms and conditions of that grant. For example, WCVA is sponsor for the Engagement Gateway project
    Co sponsor – an arrangement whereby a project is being delivered collaboratively. WEFO will award EU funding to a single properly constituted legal entity, classed as the Lead Sponsor for the purposes of the project. However, all of the joint sponsors in the collaborative arrangement will share and be accountable for their ‘share’ of the project, ie their share of the funding, outputs, risk and compliance requirements. For example, regional local authority projects.
    Contractor /supplier – an organisation that has successfully bid to a lead/joint-sponsor to deliver goods or services for a project. Accountable to the sponsor for delivery as specified in a contract or grant offer letter. For example, Gateway or ILM suppliers.
    Social innovation – the Commission is keen to promote, although there is no clear proposal at present. There may be scope to deliver through contracts.
    Third sector organisations seeking to access EU funds need to think about which level they are best placed to engage at and to think about how they might approach it.
    INVITE DAVID TO SAY A FEW WORDS ON DELIVERY ARRANGEMENTS.
  • EU regulations adopted - hopefully conclude in Oct; parallel negotiations on CAP/RDP regs; query whether all legislative packages will be ready in time
    UK Partnership Agreement sign (Welsh Chapter) - Slow progress in submitting agreed UKPA could impact significantly on agreement of Welsh programmes; will determine how performance will be measured (in relation to release of funding) so it’s an important document. This also must be submitted before WEFO are able to submit our Operational Programmes, to enable project design to formally begin, so any delays in this area represent a significant risk to the Welsh Programmes.
    Welsh Operational Programmes agreed – discussed by Welsh Cabinet 24 Sept. Start negotiations with Commission October 2013 – to enable SF programmes to start early 2014. (RDP / EMFF starting 2015).
    Programmes open January 2014
  • WCVA will seek Technical Assistance funding for 3-SET to continue its work into the next round of programmes. Our key activities in this next
    phase of project design include:
    The role of WCVA and 3-SET is key in working with WG – we are working with third sector networks to identify which projects Welsh
    Government departments are likely to bring forward and to broker engagement with project design to ensure delivery opportunities materialise for
    the sector; also important to understand gaps in public sector provision that the third sector could develop projects to address.
    Engagement with the sector through Ministerial meetings between each WG Minister and relevant third sector networks; the third sector European
    forum (3-SEF), Anti Poverty Programmes Task Force and regional events – these are our key communication channels for supporting the sector’s
    involvement in project design.
    Support for third sector to lead on projects where best placed to do so – technical advice and support during project development for lead and co-
    sponsors.
    Helping third sector organisations to identify and exploit opportunities for contract delivery – helping groups to analyse the best routes into the programmes
  • DIVIDE delegates into 3 groups, with Phil, David, Judith to facilitate one group each, taking post-it note comments for reporting post-event.
    Ask them to:
    Discuss their thoughts about applying for EU funding during 2014-2020
    Outline the actions they are tacking/considering taking
    Think about the info, support and skills they require in order to successfully bid for funding and manage a project/contract.
  • Transcript

    • 1. EU Structural Funds 2014-2020
    • 2. EU Structural Funds in Wales 2007-2013 £1.5bn £97m 70m Euros Rural Development Plan £797m
    • 3. EU funding to the third sector 2007-13 • WEFO has funded 286 projects in total (£1.9bn grant aid) • Over £97m of EU funds have been committed to 45 projects led by the third sector • In addition, third sector organisations have won over £140m worth of contracts
    • 4. Third sector impact 2007-13 Through their projects third sector lead sponsors are aiming to: • • • • Work with 104,802 participants Support 10,585 participants to enter employment Assist 32,311 participants to achieve qualifications Support 19,818 participants into further learning and 57,170 to achieve a positive outcome • Create 1,292 gross new jobs • Create 157 new social enterprises • Support 12,500 people to access services
    • 5. 2014-2020 Developments to date • Strategic direction: Europe 2020 and the Welsh Programme for Government – adding value • Welsh Programmes are part of a Partnership Agreement between the UK Government and European Commission • Single portal for all European Structural & Investment Funds • Welsh Government public consultation on Structural Funds draft Operational Programme and future direction for the RDP closed in April 2013
    • 6. Funding allocations • West Wales & the Valleys continues as a Convergence region (circa €1.8bn EU grant aid) • East Wales remains a Regional Competitiveness & Employment Area – with a funding up-lift to circa €361m
    • 7. WW&V draft ERDF Priorities Priority 1: • Theme 1: • Theme 2: Priority 2: • Theme 1: • Theme 2: Priority 3: • Theme 1: • Theme 2: Priority 4: • Theme 1: • Theme 2: • Theme 3: • SME Competitiveness Access to finance Entrepreneurship Infrastructure Transport and Network Bottlenecks to Growth Infrastructure-led Growth Research and Innovation: Innovation for All Research and Development Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Energy Efficiency Marine energy (tidal, wave and wind) Low Carbon Transition
    • 8. East Wales draft ERDF Priorities Priority 1: • Theme 1: • Theme 2: SME Competitiveness Access to finance Entrepreneurship Priority 2: • Theme : • Theme 2 : Research and Innovation Innovation for All Research and Development Priority 3: • Theme 1: • Theme 3: Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Energy Efficiency Low Carbon Transition
    • 9. WW&V draft ESF Priorities Priority 1: • Theme 1: • Theme 2: • Theme 3: Priority 2: • Theme 1: • Theme 2: • Theme 3: • Theme 4: Priority 3: • Theme 1: • Theme 2: • Theme 3: Tackling poverty through sustainable employment Helping people into work Inclusion and engagement in the labour market Helping people stay and progress in work Skills for growth Adaptability and progression Skills for research and innovation Leadership and management Gender equality Youth employment and attainment Youth employment Youth attainment and engagement Early years
    • 10. East Wales draft ESF Priorities • • Priority 1: Priority 2: Skills for Growth Youth Employment ** Following the confirmation of the budget uplift for East Wales, the Welsh Government proposes to add a Tackling poverty through sustainable employment (to mirror WW&V)
    • 11. Rural Development Plan 2014-2020 There are six proposed priorities for the EAFRD: 1. Fostering knowledge transfer and innovation in agriculture, forestry, and rural areas 2. Enhancing competitiveness of all types of agriculture and enhancing farm viability 3. Promoting food chain organisation and risk management in agriculture 4. Restoring, preserving and enhancing ecosystems dependent on agriculture and forestry 5. Promoting resource efficiency and supporting the shift towards a low carbon and climate resilient economy in agriculture, food and forestry sectors 6. Promoting social inclusion, poverty reduction and economic development in rural areas.
    • 12. 2014-2020 New Themes • Tackling poverty and social exclusion: 20% ESF ring-fenced in WW&V and a new third cross-cutting theme • New: Fund for the Most Deprived • ERDF ring-fenced to tackle key priorities: SME competitiveness; research and innovation and energy efficiency and renewable energy
    • 13. Project design • Guilford Review informs approach to deployment of funds • Operational Programmes • Economic Prioritisation Framework (EPF) • ‘Backbone’ areas of activity • Understanding Welsh Government initiatives is key e.g. Department for Education & Skills proposals for adult employment and skills strategic framework for delivery
    • 14. Applying for funding • Single portal for applicants • Delivery arrangements – Lead sponsor – Co-sponsor – Contract deliverer – Social innovation
    • 15. Timetable • EU regulations adopted • UK Partnership Agreement signed (Welsh Chapter) • Welsh Operational Programmes agreed • Programmes open January 2014
    • 16. How can WCVA help? • The role of WCVA and 3-SET is key in working with WG • Engagement with the sector through Ministerial meetings, the third sector European forum (3-SEF), Anti Poverty Programmes Task Force and regional events • Support for third sector to lead on projects where best placed to do so • Helping third sector organisations to identify and exploit opportunities for contract delivery on the ground
    • 17. What approach is your organisation taking to accessing EU funding 20142020? Should my What information, support and skills organisation are needed to access European funding and a project? lead manage a project? What skills does your organisation need to manage an EU funded project?