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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:


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)


Failure to appropriately advertise ERDF support during radio advert


Yorkshire Forward

Grants for Research and Development


Failure to acknowledge ERDF contribution in the grant award material


Yorkshire Forward

Large Company R&D Award Scheme


Failure to acknowledge ERDF contribution in the grant award material


Bradford MBC

Enterprising Bradford


Publicity material failed to include EU logo


University of Northampton

Modelling and Visualisation Centre

(East Midlands)


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


Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

South Black Country SUD Package (West Midlands)


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


The National Museum of Labour History

Peoples History Museum (North West)


No logo on billboard


North West Vision & Media

NW Vision and Media Cluster Development (North West)


Marketing materials without logo



James Street Underground Station (North West)


Insufficient publicity at project start


The Merseyside Partnership

Partners for Tourism (North West)


Use of incorrect logo


Business Link

Business Link Brokerage Service (North West)


Job Advertisement without ERDF logo


Carlisle City Council

Carlisle Roman Gateway


Advertisement without branding


Cumbria Tourism

Regional Marketing and Cultural Heritage


Merchandise without branding



Low Carbon Market


Unbranded promotional material


Liverpool Hope University

Urban Hope Innovation and Enterprise Centre


Billboard did not contain branding



HEI Champions


Advertising without branding


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