The European Union (EU) allocates 30% of its annual budget to Regional Aid for the purpose of providing funds to promote and encourage its policies for regional development, economic growth and social cohesion in its member states.
The social and economic development of the most disadvantaged regions, rural areas, and those facing industrial challenges and low development.
The development of the rural economy, agriculture and forests, and the preservation of the environment.
The provision of grants and loans for businesses, particularly small and medium sized enterprises, to improve their competitiveness and encourage their investment potential.
The promotion of research and development projects which are aimed at strengthening the scientific and technological base of European industry.
The social, educational and training needs of individuals, particularly young people, the long term unemployed, disabled people and women.
The preservation of European culture and heritage and the development of European culture events.
Much of the Regional Aid is distributed through Structural Funds. These exist to promote social economic cohesion within the EU by reducing inequalities between regions and promoting economic development in these areas.
There are four principal types of structural funds namely European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), European Social Fund (ESF), European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF), and Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG).
Walsall has an action plan for Objective 2 Priority 3 for £4.79 million. The “Walsall Building Ownership through Partnership” is an action plan for Community Regeneration in Walsall. The plan aims to:
Develop and enhance the organisational infrastructure and capacity for community economic regeneration within and across the priority areas of Walsall.
Develop employment opportunities for residents in the Priority 3 areas of Walsall and support the creation of new jobs, enterprises and income generating opportunities according to local needs.
Build sustainable and connected neighbourhoods within the priority areas of Walsall and to enable communities to improve their local environment and strengthen local facilities.
Enhance and develop the skills of communities in the Priority 3 neighbourhoods in Walsall and to increase the opportunities for local communities to access learning and vocational skills and qualifications.
Objective 3 ESF can be assessed via either one of nine co-financing organisations (CFOs) in the West Midlands, or one of the sub regional intermediate organisations managing the Global Grants Scheme. The opportunities for direct bids are no longer available.