The European Regional Development Fund Programme for the North West has issued an open call for manufacturers requiring consultancy services to help launch projects with growth potential.
With high importance placed on manufacturing by Government, the new national Manufacturing Support programme was launched on January 2012 by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Following consultation with the North West's Local Enterprise Partnerships, this call is aimed at providing enhanced support for North West manufacturing businesses and supporting local needs and priorities. The call is to deliver strategic and technical support such as paying for consultancy services, investing in technology, drive business growth and develop advanced manufacturing capabilities. Many of the winning bids from the Regional Growth Fund, a separate UK programme, have led to relocations of firms' premises.
The deadline for the first stage of application is 20 April. It is intended that projects will run for approximately three years, starting in July 2012, with activity ending no later than 30 June 2015.
Up to £5m is available for each project and will be awarded on a regional basis covering the sub-regions of Cheshire and Warrington, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside.
All investment from ERDF in the North West requires match funding from other private or public sources.
Throughout the course of 2012, the North West ERDF Programme Delivery Team within DCLG will issue calls for projects as it continues to work with Local Enterprise Partnerships to understand the priorities for their areas in maximising the investment opportunities for the remainder of 2007-13 Programme to support business growth.
ERDF had €755m to invest between 2007 and 2013, to enhance the competitiveness of the region's economy by supporting growth in enterprise and employment. The European Regional Development Fund in the North West is managed by the Department for Communities & Local Government.
- Further information and details on how to obtain application forms are available within the North West section of the national ERDF website – www.communities.gov.uk/erdf