European Funding Opportunities


Tees Valley has received an allocation of £197m of European Structural and Investment Funds for the programming period 2014-20.

  • £111.4m ERDF
  • £84.5m ESF & YEI (Youth Employment Initiative)
  • £1.1m EAFRD

The Tees Valley European Structural and Investment Funds Strategy sets out the key priorities for the investment of the European Funds. It is available to download here.



The Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) Growth Programme is open for applications from Monday 4 November to Sunday 16 February 2020.

The programme provides grants for rural start-ups and businesses to purchase state of the art equipment and machinery to grow their business or open up opportunities for tourism.

The minimum grant size has reduced from £35,000 to £20,000 meaning that more small or micro businesses could be eligible for a grant for their projects.

There are 3 calls open further details are below.  The Handbooks and Expression of Interest (EOI) Form can be found here .  EOIs should be submitted directly to

If you would like to speak to someone about your project idea please contact the RPA helpline on 03000 200 301.


Business Development

These grants are to create new and expand existing micro and small businesses in rural areas in the Tees Valley LEP area to create new jobs and growth in the rural economy.

Priority will be given to projects that:

  • enable farming businesses to diversify into non-agricultural activities
  • create new or expand existing micro and small businesses in rural areas in the following LEP priority sectors or their wider supply chain, including:

– advanced manufacturing

– chemicals and process

– construction

– clean energy, low carbon and hydrogen

– bioscience

– logistics

– digital

– culture and tourism

– business and professional services

– support the development and/or adoption of digital technologies that can support growth in productivity

  • create new, skilled jobs in areas of potential growth

Tourism Infrastructure

These grants are for capital investments to develop and grow tourism in rural areas. The aim is to:

  • support and enhance the tourism offer in rural parts of the Tees Valley LEP area
  • increase visitor spend
  • attract visitors to stay longer

Priority will be given to projects that:

  • create or expand existing events and festivals in rural areas, such as traditional crafts, skills, music and drama
  • create or develop access infrastructure such as cycle ways and footpaths to improve connections between visitor attractions across rural parts of the LEP area

Food Processing

The aim of these grants is to support the growth of food and drink businesses that process agricultural and horticultural products within Tees Valley, leading to job creation and improving processes and efficiencies to maximise capability for global competition.

Priority will be given to projects that:

  • increase export potential of the applicant business, through greater access to international markets
  • diversify the supply chain of the applicant business
  • develop / introduce new techniques and/or processes within the applicant business, to increase production and boost productivity
  • create new joint-ventures and partnership-working within the supply chain
  • enable job creation in food and drink processing, particularly activity that supports the creation of trainee posts (excluding government-funded apprenticeships) and higher level jobs, and jobs that provide progression route ways to higher level skilled roles
  • enable an increase in productivity
  • create efficiencies in the processing of food products which will add value


There are currently no ERDF calls open however watch this space for the launch of national calls in early 2020.


There are currently no ESF calls open.