European and External Funding
All relevant information about the current round of European and Structural Investment Funds for 2014-2020 is available on the Welsh European Funding Office web pages. The new European Social & Investment Funds Programme for 2014-2020 looks to support jobs, business growth, and to improve the skills of the workforce as well as encouraging innovation and new approached to tackling poverty in West Wales and the Valleys.
A series of short films to illustrate the range of projects that European Funding supports in South East Wales in available on Youtube
Blaenau Gwent is the Lead organisation in South East Wales for two ESF Operations, Inspire 2Achieve and Inspire 2Work. Both projects are aimed at preventing young people from becoming NEET (not in Education, Employment or Training) by co-ordinating provision among six Local Authorities, four Colleges and Careers Wales.
Rural Development Plan (RDP)
Blaenau Gwent collaborates with Caerphilly County Borough Council in the RDP 2014-2020. The Local Development Strategy for the Cwm a Mynydd Local Action Group (LAG) can be viewed here.
Other European Funds
As well as ES&I Funds, there are many other European Programmes offering opportunities, in a variety of areas.
Horizon 2020 is an €80 billion EU Research and Innovation Programme with an emphasis on supporting excellence in science, industrial leadership and tackling societal challenges. Like the Structural Funds, this Programme runs from 2014-2020.
A Programme which seeks to help SMEs with access to finance and markets.
Connecting Europe Facility
A programme supporting the development of high performing, sustainable and efficiently interconnected trans-European networks in the energy, telecommunications and transport fields.
A seven year Programme with a €14.7 billion budget, this is the EU Programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport. It funds transnational partnerships which support partnerships among Education, Training and Youth Institutions.
A €1.5 billion Programme to support the creative/cultural and audio visual sectors.
LIFE is the EU's €3.4 billion financial instrument supporting Environment, Nature Conservation and Climate Change/Action projects in the EU.
Other External Grants
There are many potential sources of grants, each of which focus on their own specific priorities.
For help with smaller and community focused grants, a good place to start is to contact Gwent Association of Voluntary Organisations (GAVO): www.gavowales.org.uk
For advice on business grants and loans, the first port of call is Business Wales: www.business.wales.gov.uk
Some of the more popular Welsh and UK grant providers are listed;
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