Hope’s costly ERDF branding error

Liverpool Hope University has been forced to repay £27,987 to the European Regional Development Fund because it did not carry a logo on a billboard advertising its Urban Hope regeneration spin-off.

Urban Hope, part of the university's Hope Business Gateway department, received £2.2m from ERDF towards its Urban Hope initiative, which the university says provides 'expertise in the areas of widening access, regeneration and enterprise' in regeneration through project management and consultancy. Among Urban Hope's clients are Cosmopolitan Housing Group, Wirral Council and Kensington New Deal for Communities.

ERDF, managed in the UK by Department for Communities & Local Government, demands repayment – or 'financial correction' – from organisations and companies who fail to comply with the European Commission Information & Publicity Rules.

Other North West organisations which suffered financial correction include Carlisle City Council, The Mersey Partnership, and Envirolink, though all lesser amounts than Hope had to repay.

The chief executive of Urban Hope, Dr Martin Carey, is on annual leave this month and unavailable for comment.

For the 2007-2013 ERDF Programme, the following financial corrections have been imposed, due to failure to comply with the EC Publicity Regulations:

Organisation

Project Name (Regional ERDF Programme)

Monetary Value of the project

Nature of the breach

Financial Penalty or correction

Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council

Inclusive Enterprise (Yorkshire and Humber)

£8,000,000

Failure to appropriately advertise ERDF support during radio advert

£5,250

Yorkshire Forward

Grants for Research and Development

£9,137,077

Failure to acknowledge ERDF contribution in the grant award material

£9,752

Yorkshire Forward

Large Company R&D Award Scheme

£16,384,215

Failure to acknowledge ERDF contribution in the grant award material

£1,753

Bradford MBC

Enterprising Bradford

£10,093,630

Publicity material failed to include EU logo

£986

University of Northampton

Modelling and Visualisation Centre

(East Midlands)

£8,628,858

The project did not have the required billboard up in time (8 week period).

£56,477.70

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

South Black Country SUD Package (West Midlands)

£202,000

Failure to acknowledge ERDF Programme in text or display logos in job adverts.

£5,046

The National Museum of Labour History

Peoples History Museum (North West)

£756,300

No logo on billboard

£7,223

North West Vision & Media

NW Vision and Media Cluster Development (North West)

£2,716,950

Marketing materials without logo

£12,005

Merseytravel

James Street Underground Station (North West)

£1,700,000

Insufficient publicity at project start

£13,600

The Merseyside Partnership

Partners for Tourism (North West)

£11.947,934

Use of incorrect logo

£5,492.50

Business Link

Business Link Brokerage Service (North West)

£3,270,695

Job Advertisement without ERDF logo

£5,296.47

Carlisle City Council

Carlisle Roman Gateway

£2,067,377

Advertisement without branding

£88.00

Cumbria Tourism

Regional Marketing and Cultural Heritage

£4,775,979

Merchandise without branding

£240.00

Envirolink

Low Carbon Market

£1,850,843

Unbranded promotional material

£167.67

Liverpool Hope University

Urban Hope Innovation and Enterprise Centre

£4,296,663

Billboard did not contain branding

£27,987.84

NCGE

HEI Champions

£1,279,141

Advertising without branding

£1,000.50

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