The North West Objective 2i Programme for the period 2000 to 2006 was formally launched by the Programme Monitoring/Regional Committee (PM/RC) at its inaugural meeting on 30 March 2001. The Objective 2 Programme aims to promote the economic and social convergence of areas facing structural difficulties and targets areas undergoing socio-economic change in the industrial and service sectors, declining rural areas, urban areas in difficulty and depressed areas dependent upon fisheries. For the 2000 to 2006 programming period, the Objective 2 Programme will operate within parts of Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Cumbria and Lancashire and covers a population of 3.5 million people. Some areas previously covered by Objective 2 Programmes (Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cheshire, West Cumbria Furness) and Objective 5b (Northern Uplands) are no longer eligible for Community funding and have been awarded transitional support. The funding allocation for the region is estimated at around £500m and the Programme is wholly financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDFi).
There are two main ways to apply for Objective 2 funding – a direct application to Government Office (for regional projects) or more commonly through Local Action Plan Partnerships. Local Action Plans are strategic documents drawn up in partnerships representative of all those with a key interest in the proposed activities to be carried out in the Action Plan area. Action Plans can be regional, sub-regional or local level or specifically target themes. Action Plan Partnerships will announce bidding rounds, issue application forms and guidance, establish scoring/selection procedures and forward payment. For contact details please see the Action Plans section of this website.
Objective 2 will fund a proportion (up to 50%) of a project’s costs. The remaining amount is known as match funding (please see match funding section). You can use both public and private match funding but at least 5% must come from a public source. Objective 2 will contribute to both capital and revenue costs of a project which can include for example, land and building acquisition costs, construction work including new build and conversion costs, fixtures and fittings, staff salaries, rent/lease of a building, hire/lease of equipment and consumables.