The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) focuses on supporting business competitiveness, creating jobs, investment in research and innovation, and the low carbon economy.

SELEP’s notional allocation for the 2014-2020 programme (using the recognised 2015/16 exchange rate of 0.78) is £74.1m.

Open Calls

The SELEP ESIF Strategy sets out the overarching strategic priorities for the South East and, specifically, describes the themes against which ERDF projects must deliver:

• projects that promote innovations and smart specialisation (Priority Axis 1)

• projects that support the growth and competitiveness of SMEs (Priority Axis 3)

• projects that support the shift towards a low carbon economy (Priority Axis 4)

Applications against each theme are invited by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) by way of an Open Call on GOV.UK.

SELEP currently has three calls open for applications, against all three priority axes.

The following links will take you to the individual calls on, where you can find further information and download the detailed call specifications.

Research and innovation

SME support

Shifting to a low carbon economy

All three calls are open until 12 January 2018, with interim review dates of 30 April, 30 July and 31 October 2017.

ERDF funded projects in the SELEP

  • South East Business Boost is an ‘enhanced’ business support service for SMEs, providing in-depth, specialist business support activities tailored to meet the individual needs of different business communities. The programme will offer targeted and bespoke 1:2:1 and 1:2:many support activities, workshops and events, provision of a grants programme, and the development of ‘super local’ business networks.

  • Supply Chain Innovation for Offshore Renewable Energy (SCORE) will address the supply chain and innovation needs of SMEs across SELEP who are operating in, or have the capabilities to diversify into, the offshore renewable energy industry.

  • Low Carbon across the South East (LoCASE) will provide a consistent, accessible business support programme across SELEP that helps businesses optimise the use of resources and adopt low carbon solutions in ways that improve business performance in terms of resilience, profitability and competitiveness, and protect the environment. Read more about this on the LoCASE website

  • Essex Growth Programme will provide a support service and capital grant scheme to pre-start up and new SMEs within Essex, Thurrock and Southend-on-Sea.

  • Get Exporting 2 is a tailored programme of advice and assistance, both financial and 1-2-1, to enable companies to begin selling overseas or to expand internationally.

Applying for ERDF funding
Applications for ERDF are submitted directly to DCLG for consideration in a two-step process.
An outline application is submitted in response to an Open Call and is assessed for eligibility.
If the project application is deemed eligible, the application is invited to submit a full application, which is fully appraised for compliance and strategic fit.

Detailed information on the application process can be found at GOV.UK or by following the links below:

Outline application form and guidance notes

Full application form

Eligibility Rules

State Aid compliance

Branding and Publicity guidance

Outputs and results



For further information on ERDF or to discuss a potential project idea, please contact our ERDF Technical Facilitator:
Jo Simmons or 07701 394 521

Further reading & links

Click here
for a short guide to the European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund

Click here
to read the ERDF 2014-2020 Operational Programme

Click here
for Government’s webpages on European Structural Investment Funds

Click here
to subscribe to email alerts for European Structural Investment Funds

Click here
to see a list of all open and closed ERDF calls across England