The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), the ERDF Managing Authority, have been working with the European Commission to develop flexibilities for current ERDF funded programmes and to develop additional measures in response to COVID-19.
COVID-19 has had a significant impact on our ERDF programmes and our local businesses. Instead of focusing on growth and innovation, many businesses are now looking at how they can adapt and survive restrictions that have been put in place, and our ERDF funded business programmes have also had to adapt to ensure they are able to provide the right kind of support to our D2N2 businesses to assist with economic recovery. Questions raised by programme delivery partners to their ERDF contract managers about adapting programmes have been collated and have been published on a dedicated European Structural and Investment Funds: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response webpage.
One of the new measures in response to COVID-19 has been the £50m Reopening High Streets Safely Fund funded through ERDF for councils across England to prepare for the safe reopening of high streets and other retail spaces.
In a letter to Growth Programme Boards, MHCLG have announced further support including increasing programme intervention rates on a temporary basis and enabling businesses experiencing short-term financial difficulties to be supported through ERDF programmes. Work is continuing to develop a bespoke package of support for visitor economy businesses and additional targeted support to businesses and communities as identified.
Plans to allocate remaining ERDF funding are being reviewed and MHCLG no longer expect to launch England-wide Reserve Fund calls. Options will include a consideration of other government initiatives and local recovery plans to support the economy and addressing emerging recovery funding requirements, such as additional business support, sectoral or thematic needs.
READ the MHCLG letter (dated 25/6/20)
Article uploaded 26/6/20
This project is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 in England.