Four calls for project have been launched to introduce new services and facilities to Swindon and Wiltshire. They will be aimed at improving business productivity, digital capability and research infrastructure for the area.

The calls are published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. Funded by the European Regional Development Fund, two are aimed at improving productivity and competitiveness of local Small to Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) whilst two more look to improve digital capabilities of businesses and to support the funding of research and development infrastructure and facilities.

The SME support call offers £1.2m for a broad-ranging project that boosts productivity of smaller businesses with focus on support of start-ups and scale-up SMEs.

A call for Manufacturing Support seeks a specialist to deliver tailored packages to assist SMEs involved in manufacturing to pursue productivity and growth; in a nutshell, helping businesses adapt and take advantage of the trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies (Industry 4.0).

Following the Swindon and Wiltshire Digital Capabilities Strategy, a £0.5m ERDF call is launched for a specialist to take forward the report’s three themes for Digital Creation, Digital Adoption and Digital Foundations.

The £2.5m Research Infrastructure call is for investment in facilities and infrastructure, enabling SMEs to development new products and services addressing the lack of accessible business and community facing research and technology facilities in the area.

An Extended Guarantee announced by government in July provides assurance that ERDF projects will be continue regardless of the type of Withdrawal Agreement is concluded with the EU. Projects can be contracted after 29 March 2019 and still run for 3 years.

EU funds must be matched with applicant funding, and in this area, the match-rate is 50%.

Applications are required to demonstrate value for money and deliver agreed outputs.

Calls are published by the Managing Authority only on the website – and not by SWLEP.

Outline applications must be submitted to and not to the SWLEP. The ERDF Technical Assistance team has produced a slide deck to assist making applications.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of your proposal with the team, please contact