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15 January 2014

Making the most of European Funding in the East Midlands

The final version of a major report that aims to improve the performance of the East Midlands in attracting and spending European Funding was published today by East Midlands Councils.

The report, entitled ‘Meeting Need/Realising Opportunity’ has been developed with the Nottingham Business School and with financial support from the European Regional Development Fund. 

It sets out an economic case for Europe to invest in the East Midlands over the period 2014-20, and highlights funding priorities which could make a real difference to both the local and national economies. Major opportunities exist in the following sectors:

  • Transport equipment
  • High performance engineering
  • Energy generation & supply
  • Food technology

The report also highlights a number of delivery challenges informed by recent experience of European funding, along with proposed solutions that will help to make sure that the East Midlands can make the most of what is on offer in the future. Recommendations are made for local enterprise partnerships, Government and potential bidders.

EMC is now working with partners to take forward the report’s key recommendations, starting with a high profile event focused on the rail sector in Derby in February.  

The report has been published at a time when the East Midlands has been under-performing in some existing EU programmes,  which could result in millions of pounds being lost to the region.

From 2014 responsibility for allocating most EU funding will pass from Central Government to Local Enterprise Partnerships, although Government will still be responsible for processing payments and managing budgets at a national level.

Cllr Jon Collins, Chair of East Midlands Councils said:

The East Midlands has some significant economic challenges, but also a number of key strengths with huge potential to contribute to national growth.  EU funding can help to realise this potential, but we have to get better and smarter at using it. Performance under the current programs has not been great - too many small projects and not enough strategic impact. I hope this report will start a healthy debate about how we can do better.

Cllr Martin Hill, Vice Chair of East Midlands Councils said:

We have some real opportunities in the East Midlands to use EU funding to support projects that can make a strategic impact at both the local and national level. But we need to overcome some of the delivery problems which have held us back in the past.   The report sets out some very timely advice about how we can do better in the future.

‘Meeting Need/Realising Opportunity’ (including a 2 page Executive Summary) is available here

This press release can also be downloaded


For further information please contact:

Andrew Pritchard, Director of Policy & Infrastructure, East Midlands Councils

Tel: 01664 502620. Mobile 07795 060943


All news releases can be viewed on our website at


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