The EU’s objectives for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth are also at the heart of England’s economic strategy. The United Kingdom Government in The Plan for Growth set out the objective to achieve strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries.
There are four overarching ambitions:
- To create the most competitive tax system in the G20;
- To make the United Kingdom one of the best places in Europe to start, finance and grow a business;
- To encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy; and
- To create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.
ERDF represents a small proportion of total public and private investment in a local area. Even in less prosperous areas which are eligible for higher amounts of funding ERDF investment is a fraction of the overall value.
That said, the effects of ERDF investment are significant for some areas. It is also a co-financing mechanism so its use is contingent on drawing other investment. It is also not designed to address institutional constraints on growth.
In 2014-2020 ERDF funds will be strategically deployed together with national resources to target market failures that constrain growth.
Without ERDF these investments would either not take place or not take place to the same scale and timeframes.