ERDF in the Northwest

In the Northwest, the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) is responsible for managing the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programme. The NWDA has been allocated £755 million from the ERDF to spend on the Northwest between 2007 and 2013.

The ERDF programme in the Northwest is known as the Northwest Operational Programme (NWOP).

  • Download the NWOP Programme
  • Download the NWOP Programme Summary

NWOP has four priority areas for funding. Under each priority area, there are a number of action areas to make sure the funding is focused to fulfil specific roles.

The NWDA allocates NWOP funding through a single appraisal process. NWOP funding is allocated as grants, loans, or venture capital towards project costs. Grants are set at the minimum level required to allow the project to go ahead. NWOP funding is rarely more than 50% of the eligible cost.

The remainder of the funding - known as "match funding" - comes from other sources, such as: the NWDA; local authorities; other Government schemes; other public bodies; and the private sector.

Of the £755 million for the Northwest, £307 million has been allocated to Merseyside, with £448 million allocated for the rest of the Northwest. Merseyside has its own funding allocated due to its transitional phasing-in status.

Transitional phasing-in status was awarded to those regions which, since the last programming round (2000-2006) were proportionately more disadvantaged due to the assertion of the 12 new Member States. The assertion of these new member states had the effect of lowering the average GDP across the whole of the EU, upon which the ERDF is calculated. This is known as the 'statistical effect' and in response the EU awarded additional funding to those areas badly effected by the significant lowering in ERDF between 2000 and 2007.

NWOP aims to: create 26,700 additional net jobs; improve the region's annual Gross Value Added by £1.17 billion; and a 25% reduction in additional carbon dioxide emissions generated from ERDF programme investments.

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) was set up in 1975 to stimulate economic development in less prosperous regions of the European Union (EU). As EU membership has grown, ERDF has developed into a major stream to help redress regional imbalances.

In October 2006, the UK Government confirmed that the 9 Regional Development Agencies should take responsibility for managing the ERDF programmes in England for the period 2007-2013. This was a reflection of the desire to align EU regional policy with UK domestic regional policy and priorities.

The NWDA took over the day to day strategic management and delivery of ERDF, as the Managing Authority, from January 2008.

With a total of £521m in ERDF funding, the ERDF Programme in the Northwest will enhance the competitiveness of the regions economy by supporting the creation of the right conditions for growth in employment and enterprise. The Programme compliments and supports the EU ‘Growth and Jobs’ agenda, and the Northwest Regional Economic Strategy (RES).

For the first time, there is a single ERDF Programme for the Northwest, known as the Northwest Operational Programme (NWOP).