Operational Programme 'South West England'

Programme under the Regional Competitiveness and Employment Objective 2007-2013, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

United Kingdom

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On 10 December 2007, the European Commission approved a Regional Operational Programme for the South West of England for 2007-13. The Operational Programme falls within the framework laid out for the Regional Competitiveness and Employment Objective and has a total budget of about €250 million. Community investment through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) amounts to about €125 million ,which represents approximately 1.2% of the total EU investment earmarked for the United Kingdom under the Cohesion Policy 2007-13.

1. Purpose and aim of the programme

The Operational Programme will promote innovation and research and development (R&D), along with the application of knowledge to increase regional business productivity. It will contribute to reducing regional disparities by stimulating enterprise and accelerating growth in parts of the South West that currently lag behind the best performing areas. The Programme also aims to increase employment and enterprise in the region’s most disadvantaged communities.

Environmental sustainability is the programme’s key principle, and the aim is to achieve a low carbon impact. Sustainable development objectives will be integrated into all the programme’s activities via two cross-cutting themes: equality and diversity and the environment.

2. Expected impact of the investment

The Operational Programme is expected to create 10 000 new jobs, of which 1500 will be in the environmental sector. The programme will help 12 000 businesses, and about 1400 small ana medium sized enterprises (SMEs) should see improvements in their environmental performance. The Programme is also expected to boost the region’s Gross Value Added by up to €200 million.

3. Priorities

The South West of England 2007-13 ERDF Programme is structured according to the following priorities:

Priority 1: Innovation and Knowledge [approximately 36.1% of the total budget]

The aim is to improve the region’s overall innovation performance – in particular efforts will be made to close the gap in innovation performance that exists within the region. The goal is to bring those less achieving parts of the region closer to the higher performing areas.

Priority 2: Enterprise and Growth [approximately 36.1% of the total budget]

Increasing the contribution that high value-added businesses make to the local economy is a key priority, as is reducing intra-regional disparities.

Priority 3: Urban Enterprise [approximately 24.1% of the total budget]

The aim of this priority is to increase the level of business and social enterprise activity in the region’s most deprived neighbourhoods, especially in three areas that have been selected because they suffer high levels of deprivation.

Priority 4: Technical Assistance [approximately 3.7% of the total budget]

Provision exists for technical assistance, which will be used to help implement the Programme.

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'South West England'

Intervention Type

Operational Programme

CCI no


Number of decision


Final approval date


Breakdown of finances by priority axis

Priority Axis EU Investment National Public Contribution Total Public Contribution
Innovation and Knowledge 45 000 000 45 000 000 90 000 000
Enterprise and Growth 45 000 000 45 000 000 90 000 000
Urban Enterprise 30 000 000 30 000 000 60 000 000
Technical assistance 4 658 086 4 658 086 9 316 172
Total 124 658 086 124 658 086 249 316 172