ERDF projects

European Regional Development Fund projects

The South East LEP has been given an indicative allocation of £74.1 million of ERDF for projects to support Jobs and Growth in our area. The funding is focussed as follows:

  • Support for Research and Innovation (priority axis 1)
  • SME Growth and Competitiveness (priority axis 3)
  • Shift Towards a Low Carbon Economy (priority axis 4)

ERDF projects up and running

So far 10 projects have been contracted with another 15 in the process of development.


Better off in Business

Who is this project for?

Unemployed young people aged 18 to 30, who are interested in self-employment and have a business idea they want to explore.

What does it offer?

  • Targeted workshops for eligible applicants, at various venues across the SELEP area
  • Business advice and guidance relating to an applicant’s specific business idea
  • Up to £250 ‘Will it Work’ grants to test the business idea in the marketplace

Who is delivering this project?

The Prince’s Trust is offering this service as part of a wider package of support to help young people upskill and enter the employment market. It will run until 30 September 2018.

Find out more here


Essex Growth Programme

Who is this project for?

Pre-start up individuals and SMEs less than 36 months old, in all sectors and but with a focus on high value industries, who are looking to grow through capital investment.

What does it offer?

  • Advice and support through a qualified team of business advisors
  • Guidance in formulating business plans and financial forecasts
  • Grants of £1,000 - £10,000 (20% intervention rate) for capital assets such as equipment and machinery

Who is delivering this project?

NWES is delivering this project within the local authority areas of Essex County Council, Thurrock Council and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council which will run until 31 August 2018.

Find out more here


Get Exporting

Who is this project for?

SMEs in all sectors and that export potential, looking to sell overseas or develop internationally

What does it offer?

  • Workshops and events across the SELEP area
  • Up to 12 hours of 1-2-1 business support and advice service
  • Grants of up to £3,000 grants (50% intervention rate) including for marketing, market research, language training, and travel

Who is delivering this project?

Two delivery arms of the DIT

  • Newable in East Sussex, Kent and Medway.
  • Exemplas in Essex, Thurrock and Southend on Sea.

The project will run until 30 June 2019.

SELEP Downloadable DocumentERDF Get Exporting Flyer


Innovation and Knowledge Exchange (KEEP+)

Who is this project for?

SMEs in all sectors, who are looking to connect with academic expertise and R&D facilities, to help them develop new products and services.

What does it offer?

  • Knowledge Exchange and Embed Partnerships (KEEPs) placing academic/research expertise into a business to develop a new product or service
  • Research and Innovation Collaborations (RICs ) providing R&D support to a business from a technical team, to develop a new product or service
  • Capital grants linked to KEEPs and RICs , to purchase equipment needed
  • Innovation Internships and Innovation Networks

Who is delivering this project?

Anglia Ruskin University lead, with support from academic partners across the 4 LEPs within which it delivers (SELEP, Hertfordshire, GCGP and New Anglia). It will run until December 2019.

Find out more here


Inward Investment Kent

Who is this project for?

UK and foreign SMEs looking to relocate and/or expand their operations into the Kent and Medway area. This project complements South East Invest ERDF project.

What does it offer?

  • Support in setting up or expanding a business in Kent or Medway, with a focus on manufacturing and life sciences
  • Specialist advice on workforce development and recruitment
  • Specialist advice on financial initiatives and funding opportunities
  • Local knowledge of operating in the area, including access to a network of Kent-based legal, accounting, marketing and financial experts

Who is delivering this project?

Kent County Council, in partnership with Medway Council and UKTI.

This project wlll run until 31 July 2019.

Find out more here


Low Carbon in the South East (LoCASE)

Who is this project for?

SMEs in all sectors, who are looking to improve business performance by implementing energy efficiency measures, and businesses in the Low Carbon and Environmental Goods sector (LCEGS) who are looking to grow.

What does it offer?

  • Targeted workshops across the SELEP area
  • Direct business advice and support ; energy efficiency audits
  • Grants of up to £10,000 grants (40% intervention rate) to implement energy efficiency measures + other capital costs for LCEGS businesses

Who is delivering this project?

Kent County Council, with delivery partners East Sussex and Essex County Councils, Southend and Thurrock Councils, and the University of Brighton (Green Growth Platform).

This project will run until 30 April 2019.

Find out more here.


Manufacturing Growth Programme

Who is this project for?

SMEs in the manufacturing sector who are looking to grow their business.

What does it offer?

  • A service to fill the void following the closure of the Manufacturing Advice Service in 2015
  • Specialist advice and support to create and implement business plans for growth and improvement
  • Up to 35% grant money to co-fund external coaching and/or consultancy

Who is delivering this project?

Economic Delivery Solutions, across multiple LEPs in the South East, East, midlands and North East.

This project will run until 31 March 2019.

Find out more here


South East Business Boost (SEBB)

Who is this project for?

New and existing SMEs (including start-ups) in all sectors who are looking to access in-depth, specialist business support and grant funding. This project provides an enhanced, complementary service to SELEP’s core Growth Hub activities.

What does it offer?

  • Targeted workshops and events across the SELEP area
  • 1-2-1 advice and support
  • Capital grants of between £1,000 to £10,000 (30% intervention rate) for eligible goods and services
  • 100% start up grants for new businesses

Who is delivering this project?

Southend Borough Council leads, in partnership with East Sussex, Essex and Kent County Councils and Thurrock Council.

This project will run until 30th June 2019.

SELEP </p>

<p>  Downloadable DocumentFind out more here


South East Invest

Who is this project for?

SMEs in non-European markets who are looking to relocate and/or expand operations into Essex, South Essex and East Sussex.

This project complements Inward Investment Kent ERDF project.

What does it offer?

Local business support and advice through the Let’s Do Business Group service provider, via Invest Essex and Locate East Sussex inward investment platforms. Advisors will provide expert advice and local information on business growth, commercial property decisions (including affordable rental space) and access to funding for growth acceleration.

Who is delivering this project?

Essex County Council in partnership with East Sussex County Council.

This project will run until 31 March 2020.

Find out more:

INVEST Essex

Locate East Sussex


Supply chain innovation for offshore renewable energy (SCORE)

Who is this project for?

  • New and existing SMEs looking to develop innovative technologies and new ways of working in offshore renewable energy, including wind, wave and tidal power
  • Other marine renewable energy technologies and their direct supply chains.

What does it offer?

  • Up to 12 hours of business support to help businesses develop within the offshore renewables sector.
  • Grants of between £2,500 and £50,000 (40% intervention rate) to develop new products, processes and ideas for businesses who can demonstrate an economic benefit within Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk or Suffolk.

Who is delivering this project?

Orbis Energy in partnership with NWES, Nautilus and the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult.

This project runs until January 2019.

Find out more here,