2014―2020 EU Structural Funds Programme in Wales: Impact and benefits to the people, communities and businesses of Wales

Wales has benefited from over £2.1bn of EU funds through our Structural Funds programmes (the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund) covering the 2014–2020 period.

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) aims to reduce economic, environmental and social problems in urban areas, with a special focus on sustainable urban development.

The European Social Fund (ESF) aims to invest in people to help increase employment, reduce poverty and improve educational achievement therefore improving people’s work and life opportunities. EU Structural Funds have supported public, higher and further education, business and voluntary organisations to deliver a wide range of activities to help regenerate our towns and communities, help the Welsh economy grow and to create jobs. As well as strengthening our research base and helping to
deliver low carbon transition in Wales.

This document focusses on the key priorities for ERDF and ESF, which are:
• Research and Innovation
• SME competitiveness
• Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency
• Connectivity and Urban Development
• Tackling Poverty through Sustainable Employment
• Skills for Growth
• Youth Employment and Attainment

Each chapter focusses on one priority containing project case studies and testimonies highlighting the benefits, achievements and positive impact our partners have made with EU funds within the 2014–2020 European Structural Funds Programme for Wales.

For the purposes of this document, we will be concentrating on three ESF priorities. The Public services reform and regional working priority for ESF was agreed later in the programming period therefore projects allocated funding under this priority are still in the initial stages of implementation.

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