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European Social Fund

The European Social Fundexternal website is one of four Structural Funds designed to strengthen economic and social cohesion in the European Union.

The current programmes run from 2000 to 2006. ESF will provide about £4.5 billion in Great Britain (£3.5 billion in England) in this period.

ESF money is shared out under three Objectives, which are designed to focus resources on those in greatest need. Objectives 1 and 2 target specific regions or areas, while Objective 3 develops human resources.

Objective 1

North Devon is not eligible

Aim: To develop regions where the economy is lagging behind most of Europe.

Objective 2

North Devon is eligible

Aim: To renew industrial, urban, rural and fisheries areas that are in decline

Further information

Objective 3

North Devon is eligible


1. To tackle long-term unemployment

2. To help young people and those at risk from not being able to find work

3. To improve training, education and counselling for lifelong learning

4. To encourage entrepreneurship and adaptability in the workplace

5. To promote equal opportunities and improve the role of women in the workforce

Who can apply?

Any legally constituted organisation – public or private – can apply for ESF. Sole traders or individuals cannot apply. Students, for example, cannot apply for funding for their university courses.

To qualify for ESF funding all applicants must show their planned project takes account of the ESF themes of mainstreaming equal opportunities, information and communication technology, local development and sustainable development.

Rural Development Programme for England

Rural Development Programme for Englandexternal website (ERDP) contributes to the delivery of the Government's Strategy for Sustainable Farming and Food by helping farmers and foresters to respond better to consumer requirements and become more competitive, diverse, flexible and environmentally responsible. It also provides help to rural businesses and communities which need to adapt and develop.

The ERDP provides a framework for the operation of 10 separate but integrated schemes which provide new opportunities to protect and improve the countryside, to develop sustainable enterprises and to help rural communities to thrive. A total of £1.6 billion of EU and Government money is being made available under these schemes in England during the 7 years (2000-2006) of the Programme

Defra has overall responsibility for the Programme and is responsible for operating all of the measures except the forestry measures which the Forestry Commission implements.

The programme:

Aims to increase significantly the area covered by schemes to conserve and improve the environment and maintain the sustainable management of uplands through:

a substantial expansion in funds for:

- the Countryside Stewardship Scheme

- the Organic Farming Scheme

- the Woodland Grant Scheme

- the Farm Woodland Premium Scheme

- the continuation of the Environmentally Sensitive Areas Scheme, and

re-focusing support for hill farming through the Hill Farm Allowance Scheme

Aims to assist the creation of more diverse and competitive agricultural and forestry sectors and jobs in the countryside, encourage the development of new products and markets and greater collaboration and provide training to support these new activities through launching four new schemes:

1. Rural Enterprise Scheme

2. Processing and Marketing Grants

3. Energy Crops Scheme

4. Vocational Training Scheme

ERDP contact

Information Resource Centre
Lower Ground Floor
Ergon House
c/o Nobel House
17 Smith Square
Telephone: 08459 33 55 77



LEADER + is designed to complement the other measures available under mainstream programmes.

LEADER+ in England has these core objectives:

1. to build capacity in local rural communities to encourage them to think about the longer-term potential of their area and

2. to work together to address, in sustainable ways, the needs and issues identified;

3. to support local rural communities in developing and implementing integrated, high quality, innovative strategies for sustainable development to identify new ways of:

- facilitating the development of competitive and sustainable rural economies which will help to create jobs and increase economic opportunities;

.-.improving the quality of life for people living or working in rural communities by improving access to services and helping everyone to achieve their full potential;

- protecting and enhancing the natural and cultural heritage and diversity, including extending access to the countryside and developing quality rural leisure opportunities; and improving the organisational skills of local rural communities.

Leader+ has six Local Action Groups in the South West. They each have there own provisional funding package which comes from EU funding and DEFRA. Each initiative will need to match this from other public and private sources of money.
The area covered by the North-West Devon Partnership crosses the boundaries of Torridge and North Devon Councils and consists of 97 rural parishes forming the hinterland of Bideford and Barnstaple. The initiative builds on the existing Torridge LEADER II project.

The initiative involves a provisional total funding package of £4.6m. Of this total over £2m will come out of EU funds - the partnership will need to match this pound for pound from other public sources of money with the balance coming from the private sector.

North West Devon's target groups are rural businesses, older and younger generations and women. Their overall aim is to work for the creation of a productive, sustainable and inclusive economy. In order for this to happen, the following main objectives have been established:

1. To create opportunities for wealth, employment and training

2. To Improve access to services and transport

3. To address identified problems and act o them

4. To secure balanced communities and vibrant towns

The North West Devon Leader + initiative includes:

1. Mentoring, networking with entrepreneurs, skills development

2. Support for bringing new products to market

3. Biofuels initiatives

4. Payback schemes linked to farm based access and environmental improvements

5. Support for new rurally based tourism businesses

6. A wide range of training and support activities for rural communities

LEADER+ contact

Marie Brompton
North-West Devon Programme Manager
Telephone: 01237 424121

Contact information

Economic Development
North Devon Council
Civic Centre
North Walk
Devon EX31 1EA

Telephone: 01271 388368
For Typetalk: precede with 18001
Fax: 01271 372196
Join the conversation on Twitterexternal website
Compliment, complaint or suggestion? Your feedback

Our office hours are 9.00 am to 5.00 pm Monday to Friday.

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