Update from GBSLEP ESIF Committee


Many of you will recall from this post that we recently elected a social enterprise representative to the Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP ESIF Committee. This is the committee that has responsibility for overseeing the LEP’s European & Structural Investment Fund plans.

Tony Clabby was elected (with Melanie Mills as the alternate for the occasions when he cannot attend).

Tony attended an ESIF Shadow Committee meeting on the 15th October 2014 and has asked that this update be published here:

Update from GBSLEP ESIF Committee

Very soon after the election/selection process for Social Enterprise representation I attended a meeting of the Shadow ESIF Committee on the 15th October at the Council House.

The meeting was chaired by Cllr Ian Courts from Solihull MBC who will remain as chair when the ESIF committee moves on from its’ shadow form. This is expected to be the next meeting on 17th December 2014.

The meeting was mainly a series of updates.

Firstly, from Mark Foley of DCLG (which is the Managing Authority for the programme).

Secondly, from Lloyd Broad (BCC) on the Local Implementation Plan (LIP). Lloyd will present the draft LIP at the ESIF Committee meeting on 17/12/14.

Mark Reed (BCC) then gave brief updates on ERDF, ESF and EAFRD.

I raised discussions on the Third Sector requiring Technical Assistance to build capacity in order to submit large scale/LEP area wide bids and potential joint ERDF/ESF bids.

Liz Grove (Solihull MBC) briefly talked about communication channels and “pipeline projects” which are now to be referred to as “Priorities for Investment”. It was indicated that the prospectus for calls is expected to be reviewed in December.

So, in summary – not a great deal of hard facts and figures but what I have gleaned is not great news for the sector:

  • Firstly, as we already knew, GBSLEP has chosen not to opt in for the Lottery match on offer, making it very difficult for Third Sector organisations to find match.
  • Secondly, the LEP wants to see bids in excess of £1m.
  • Finally, the LEP wants all bids to be LEP-wide.


Since this meeting of the ESIF committee a meeting has been arranged between the LEPs on the 9th December and I will feed back on that subsequently. It will be interesting if LEPs are restructured in line with any proposed Combined Authority for the West Midlands as Black Country and Coventry/Warwickshire have opted in for match while GBSLEP has opted out.

Further updates to follow after meetings on 9th and 17th December.

Tony Clabby 25/11/14

Birmingham UK. Freelance research, evaluation and policy consultant specialising in social enterprise and the third sector. I maintain the BSSEC blog and website

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