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The strategy lays out what objectives the Black Country will seek to achieve through investment of its European Structural and Investment Fund Strategy allocation, over the period 2014-20. Under each of the four priority themes of SME Competitiveness, Innovation, Low Carbon Environment, Skills and Employment & Social Inclusion, strategic investment areas are defined. A performance framework and indicators for each of those areas are developed. Further points addressed in the strategy are:
Between the submission of the first draft in October 2013 and January 2014, the Black Country programme development team, drawn from staff across the Black Country Local Authorities, the Black Country Consortium, the University of Wolverhampton and the Black Country Voluntary and Community Sector Consortia, have undertaken further detailed work to refine the strategy. The focus has been on developing the suite of programmes and ensuring there is a strong logic chain that addresses need, opportunity, adds value and puts forward interventions that are based on good practice and are appropriate to the locality.