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EU Grants Info

Welcome to the EU grants information page

The European Union has a number of grant schemes across a broad range of priorities that they have identified as particular issues that need tackling, and theseare categorised under a number of headings and sub-headings. These can seembewildering and confusing to someone that has little experience of dealing with such matters. We are here to help at least a little bit if we can.

Our aim is to provide a range of links to relevant documents, websites and sources to help get you going. Some are easier to negotiate than others, and some will lead to you to other sources of information, both useful and clear and, some inevitably, not so. Don't be put off, give our office a call and ask for Barry. If he can't find an answer immediately he will find it eventually and send on the information.


This resource starts off with a skip through the various grant areas, which sit under those priorities and headings described above, and concludes with a bit of detail at the end about how the schemes work and what the application process may consist of.

Grants General:

This one is an index of EU Grants on the EU website itself and is a good starting point. May contain the odd page of outdated information:

It is regularly updated so it can be worth checking back from time-to-time.


East Midlands Business Specific Items

Here you'll find a couple of useful and up-to-date guides to help your business identify grants and support and where to get advice and what grants are administered and by whom. There are a lot of organizations out there that offer grants. Some are area/location specific and some are for a narrow range of activity.

The European Regional Development Fund ERDF Handbook below compliments the Support

Guide above. This will give you a grasp of what priorities are being aimed at, and tailoring your applications to these is often helpful.

All parts of the East Midlands have their Local Enterprise Partnership Arrangements, the one below is D2N2, covering the upper their local authority areas of Derbyshire, Derby City, Nottinghamshire and Nottingham City.

Effectively a delivery mechanism for a range of Government and EU grants via ERDF, one such range of funding are the growth deals, which are extraordinarily complex and cover areas like transport and infrastructure, as well as economic development.


Farming and Grants for Farming

Here is some information on the Rural Payments Agency (RPA), what they do and how they do it. Environmental Stewardship and the Entry Level Scheme (ELS), Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the schemes that will soon replace it. There are broad areas of farming that are eligible development so it worthwhile looking into it. If you farm many acres it certainly worth looking into, for smallholders, depending on your circumstances, it may be worth weighting time and effort vs return. That said, for some aspects like NELMS (described below) it may still be worthwhile to apply, even if you have a small acreage.

This page is a good starter for ten but parts will require close reading and some checking because the funding landscape is currently changing.

Aspects of CAP, namely the Countryside Stewardship Scheme, are being replaced with the New Environmental Land Management Scheme (NELMS), and some details can be found in the Natural England link below. However, the details haven't been finalised and so this page (as of Jan 2015) has yet to have live links to the details and regions.


Rural Development and Businesses

This section is perhaps the most complex and broad range of grants of all. Some of these priorities and schemes are administered, in some small part by LEPs too, but often are led by local authorities. Concentrating on the LEADER Schemes, which are offered in geographically restricted areas (see the first link, which is a map) you need to identify that your business meets the criteria of being within or trading within those areas.

LEADER areas East Midlands Map

This page from the Country Landowners Association about LEADER funding opportunities is helpful and easy to understand

For detailed information about LEADER


For true insomniacs, or lovers of detail, here is a 700+ page document on the Rural Development Programme:


Town Twinning

We're often asked about this sort of help. And via a funding stream called 'Europe for Citizens' there is some help to allow towns, villages and communities to twin with other European communities. The scheme is in the throes of change though, so again, read the detail.


A couple of documents have been produced by Andrew Lewer and Emma McClarkin on funding opportunities and Erasmus+ and these are available by contacting either office.

If you need additional details please use the contacts details on this website to get in touch.


Small Charities

The key to accessing EU funds is attention to detail. For smaller charities this can be an issue, and one that larger charities overcome by having dedicated staff to deal with such applications.

This excellent (but oldish) article from the Guardian in 2012 talks through the processes and offers guidance that benefits smaller charities:

What Are EU Grants?

EU Grants appear in a range of guises covering a range of subject areas within member states that that the EU, collectively, agree as areas of priority. Those areas are roughly outlined under the headings above.


How to apply for grants

Often it is not a simple matter of finding a link and downloading a form and away you go. Usually, grants are administered via some complex mechanism within a member state. Here in the UK for example, funds from Europe that make up something like the LEADER schemes are often devolved via two or three or more bodies made up of DEFRA, county councils and one or more district council. Because of this it is not immediately apparent that the grant comes from the EU, as government departments and councils have rebranded them in some way.

For example, each of those council bodies will contribute officer time and local authority money, probably channeled from a strand of EU funding, whilst managing another pot of EU funding via DEFRA that makes up the LEADER scheme for that area. Dedicated scheme officers then administer this, and funding is agreed locally by a committee or similar body made up of stakeholders and elected members.

Before that part can happen the domestic (UK) priorities for the scheme are decided upon at Government level and announced for a new funding period (should it happen to continue) or the launch of a new grant scheme by Ministers. When this happens the details of how the scheme will work and what areas of local (member state) priorities those grants will address is also agreed (as long as they address the EU priorities too), along with the mechanism for delivering it, which is then disseminated down to the local delivery body (i.e. the LEADER scheme).

Make Direct Contact

To get to the point of applying for a grant it may take some form of direct contact with the scheme officers, perhaps a discussion with them and, if appropriate, the development of an Expression of Interest (EOI) before proceeding to the next stage of the process of applying for the grant. All of these stages will have their own deadlines and key stages, which is why you need to keep a constant eye on the funding landscape you are interested in, so you don’t miss a critical deadline or hurdle.


Persistence Pays

It all sounds time consuming, complex and seemingly impossible but persistence pays. Remember too that the officers of such schemes need to deliver them and will be extremely helpful if they think you have a scheme that will work and is deliverable. So it’s worth hanging in there!