new european funding

Rory has welcomed the publishing of detailed proposals about the European Social Fund and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) 2014-20, saying that “Cumbrians must be encouraged to keep abreast of the fund in order to maximise benefits to Cumbria”. Rory has pledged to do all he can to encourage Cumbrians to be more aware of the fund, by publicising the website and recommending that the NFU and other organisations explain the fund’s advantages to
farmers and rural communities.

Rory has, in particular, welcomed news that the 376 billion Euros fund will be simpler to administrate, with a strong focus on community-led local development and a greater role for civil society groupd and the voluntary sector. The funds include a designated amount for ‘special transition areas’ including Cumbria, which has been ear-marked as an area requiring extra support.

Rory said: “It is vitally important that, following the abolition of our Regional Development Agencies, Cumbrian communities take responsibility for making sure that they are well informed about
this important fund. Given that Cumbria has been chosen as a transition area requiring greater support, we should all be anticipating the projects for which these funds can be most
beneficial, for example in infrastructure innovations, such as broadband improvement; making SMEs more competitive and ensuring that they are a driver for growth in the Cumbrian economy; and investing in sustainable local transport initiatives. The great thing about this fund is its flexibility, which also makes it a great complement to the localist agenda that government is working so hard to enshrine in law. It also helps to reaffirm the importance of what Cumbria does best: local solutions for local problems.”

The ESF and ERDF will be available across Europe, targeted in areas where GDP is less than 75% of the European average. Further information on the fund can be found at

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