EC cash for west midlands

The European Commission has approved a £270m five-year programme of investment to boost innovation and the start-up of new businesses in the West Midlands.

The EC has approved the allocation up to 2013, which will be invested through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The investment will be put toward the creation of more than 10,000 new jobs, supporting 22,000 businesses and creating or attracting to the West Midlands a further 2,500 new businesses.

The programme will also focus on reducing unemployment and inequalities, increasing the productivity of the West Midlands’ business base whilst ensuring economic growth is achieved in a sustainable manner.

Higher education institutions, local authorities and business support providers will all be able to apply for funding to meet agreed priorities.

For the first time, RDA Advantage West Midlands will have responsibility for the management of the ERDF programme, making applications more straightforward and ensuring funding is closely aligned with the recently launched West Midlands Economic Strategy.