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  • The Obstacle Race towards the new round of Europea...

    The starter gun has been fired for the obstacle race that is preparing for the next round of European Structural and Convergence Funds - sometimes better known as ERDF (for business support and infrastructure) and ESF (for training and employment support). Does it really matter? Well for individual localities in the UK it can. Under the current Structural Funds a total of €10.6 billion over 7...

  • Maximising the benefits of improved access to gree...

    This week has seen two news articles published on plans to create new parks and ponds to support biodiversity. Waste soil from the tunnels being developed for Crossrail is to be used to develop the biggest man-made nature reserve in Europe at Wallasea Island, Essex while the Million Ponds Project was launched by charity Pond Conservation with the aim to create half-a-million ponds in the UK to b...

  • SME Access to Finance: Lessons for LEPs

    The LEPs should have now received their feedback from CLG on the initial drafts of their European Structural Investment Fund plans (known as the SIFs) and should be refining their plans for final submission in January.  From what we understand, a large number of the LEPs are intending to use ERDF resources to part fund SME access to finance projects. In many instances these are along similar lin...

  • LEPs – Choose Your Targets Wisely

    LEPs across England are currently engrossed in drafting their Strategic Economic Plans, counting down the five remaining weeks until submission.  Each plan will have a set of local economic targets which will help to focus and drive LEP activity, and on which the future performance of the LEP will be judged.  In setting targets, LEPs need to choose wisely, and to learn lessons from their predece...

  • Have PPI Payments Boosted the UK Economy?

    Despite falling real wages, the UK consumer has been driving the UK’s economic recovery Although forecasters have been busy upgrading their expectations for UK GDP growth, some have voiced concerns about the sustainability of the recovery. Consumer expenditure (and the housing market) has clearly played a large part in driving growth despite real hourly wages having actually fallen.  Indeed, G...

  • Are Wind Farms a Threat to Visitor Economies?

    The relationship between large scale wind farms and the visitor economies surrounding these developments has been in the news again! It’s been an important issue at the on-going conjoined public inquiry for a number of proposed wind farms in Mid Wales (five schemes with a combined generating capacity of over 400MW), with the local authority and many stakeholders in the tourism sector concerned a...

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